Chapter 6 : Six
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"Darcy! Darcy wake up!"
I shot up in bed, breathing heavily an saw Lucy and Carrie standing on either side of my bed. Tessa's curtains were drawn shut, and Bridget was snoring from where she was burrowed underneath her blankets.
"Are you ok? You were tossing and turning and yelling no, no, no!" Carrie said.
"It was just a nightmare. Don't worry about it," I told her.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Lucy asked, as Carrie crawled back into her bed.
"Nothing really happened... I just remember that I was trapped in Madame Puddifoot's with Louis. It was horrifying!"
"That was your nightmare? It was about your date with my cousin? Wow, Dee, you must really be dreading this."
"Of course I'm dreading it!"
"And there's really nothing you can do about it at this point. The Hogsmeade trip is in two days."
Remember what I said about loving Lucy? I take it back.
"You really aren't helping, Lu."
"Sorry. Everything will be fine, trust me. You'll be able to handle Louis. Just try and deflate his a head a bit and you'll be alright."
"You make it sound so easy!" I whispered, as she said goodnight and went back to bed.
I hoped this would be as easy as Lucy was making it out to be. I really didn't want Louis spilling the beans about the towel incident to anyone. Ever. It was totally embarrassing, and I could lose house points for being in the prefects bathroom. Hufflepuff was actually in the lead this year, which hadn't happened since Dean was a first year, and I really wanted to get the House Cup. So you could understand that we needed every point available to us, and if I was the one to take us from being in the lead, it wouldn't go over well for anyone.
I slumped back against my pillows and fell back to sleep almost immediately, and fortunately Louis no longer taunted me in my dreams. If only the real thing wouldn't be joining me in Hogsmeade in a few days.
The next two days were a blur of either nerves or anger, and Louis was basking in every second of it. He knew that he was getting under my skin, and I couldn't hide it from him no matter how hard I tried. Those bloody Weasleys are just so confident in themselves! No offense to Lucy or anything, but it's true for all of them. Although, Louis's mother is part veela, so maybe he's worse than the rest of his cousins. But regardless of his veela blood, he was definitely looking forward to our date a lot more than I was. When Saturday rolled around, I was dreading the smirk on his stupid face as I got ready to meet him in the Entrance Hall. Of course he had to make this as public as possible.
I picked at my breakfast before giving up and walking as confidently as I could towards the front doors of the castle.
"You'll be fine, Dee. Just relax," Lysander said.
"That's easy for you to say. You're not going on a date with the one person whose mission in life is to personally annoy you to the ends of the earth."
"I think you take the prize for that one."
"Lys?" I said, as I got ready to walk over to where Louis was waiting for me.
"I know you asked Lucy to Hogsmeade as a friend, but tell her how you feel. It'll work out, I promise."
And then I left him to think over what I'd said. It was quite a dramatic exit, if I do say so myself. I was quite proud of it, actually. †But the feeling didn't last long as I reached Louis, who was smirking, just like I thought he would be. It was definitely worse seeing it in person.†
"Hello, Darcy," he said, looking obnoxiously comfortable and confident.
"Hey, Louis. Ready to go? I'd love to get this over with sooner rather than later."
"Of course. But you could at least try to look like you're having a good time," he whispered, his breath tickling my ear.
"Don't push your luck," I said, wary of how close his face was to mine.†
I had never noticed that his eyes were such a deep brown, with little flecks of gold in them. They were actually almost nice looking... No, no, no, no. No they weren't. I can't believe I almost complimented Louis Weasley. That was close.
"Fine, fine. I did get you to agree to a date, which was all I asked for."
"More like threatened. Asking implies that you gave me a choice in the matter," I said, as we walked across the grounds towards Hogsmeade.
"You did have a choice, technically. You chose to come with me so no one would know about our little run-in the other night."
"Don't mention the Towel Incident," I said, shuddering.
"The Towel Incident? Is that what we're calling it now? Well, it's quite catchy. I like it," he said, smirking again. Did he have any other facial expressions?
"Then I'll have to think of a new name," I said, giving him a smirk of my own.
"I'm not even allowed to like the name? I was half of this Towel Incident, you know."
"Trust me, I know."
We were quiet for a little while after that, and I couldn't help but notice the awkward gap between us. As we strolled into Hogsmeade, and almost every other girl in our year shot me jealous looks, I fought my instincts and stepped closer to him.
"What was that for?" he asked.
"Like you said, I can at least look like I chose to be here. If anyone finds out I was blackmailed into a date, this can only go one way, and that is a way I most certainly don't want this to go."
"Well then, I may as well hold up my end of things and look like I'm enjoying myself, too," he said, taking my hand.
I almost pulled away, but thought better of it as I said, "Look like you're enjoying yourself? Oh please, you're the one who wants to be here, remember?"
"You're sure you don't want to be here at all?" he asked, looking down at me. "Not even a tiny, little bit?"
"Oh, I love coming to Hogsmeade! It's just who I'm here with that's questionable."†
I looked up at him, eyebrows raised, expecting a retort, but he didn't fight back. Instead he just laughed. Genuinely laughed! This day was certainly not going as planned.†
"You have quite the sense of humor, Darcy. Though, to be honest, I'm surprised it doesn't get you into trouble more often."†I just looked at him, unsure of what to say. "Care to go to Honeyduke's?"
"Sure," I answered, my voice coming out softer than I intended it to.†
He pulled me into the sweet shop, which was crowded with students, including my cousin, Thomas.
"Hey, Darcy," he said, looking at Louis's hand holding mine.
"Hi, Tom. Enjoying Hogsmeade so far?"†
"Yeah, it's great," he said, still observing Louis standing so close to me. I tried to inch away, but Louis tightened his grip on my hand.
"Oh, Tom, this is Louis Weasley. Louis, this is my cousin-"
"Thomas Corner. You're the Gryffindor keeper, right?" Louis said.
"Is Anna here somewhere?" I asked, desperately trying to change the subject.
"The last time I saw her, she was outside of Zonko's, which can't end well."
"Uh oh. The last time she got her hand on stink pellets, you and Daniel had to bathe twice a day for a week," I reminded him, crinkling my nose at the memory.
"I should probably go make sure she isn't getting into trouble. See you later, Darcy," Thomas said. He nodded to Louis and then left the shop.
"Well he seems fun," Louis said, as I tugged my hand from his.
"He's the studious one of his family. I gave up trying to loosen him up years ago," I said, looking through the rows of sweets. I might as well get something while we were there, right?
"What?" I said, turning back towards him.
"Anna. The girl he talked about."
"Oh. She's his sister. She's fourteen and in Slytherin. And Daniel is their younger brother. He's a second year."†
I didn't know why I was telling him, when it really wasn't any of his business, but for some reason it just felt natural. That scared me a bit. If there was any word to describe what Louis and I were to each other, it definitely wasn't natural.
I picked up a pack of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean and a Chocolate Frog and went to stand behind the line of students waiting to pay for their sweets.
"Aren't you going to get anything?" I asked him, as he stood next to me, empty handed.
"No. I'm not really a fan of sweets."
"Not a fan... That's it Weasley. Even if this is a fake date, I don't think it can last if you don't like sweets," I said.
"It's not that bad, Darcy."
"It is too that bad! You're telling me you don't even like Licorice Wands?"
"Especially not Licorice Wands," he said, making a face. "Besides, all the sugar is bad for you."
"But it tastes delicious! So you're telling me that you would turn away a Pumpkin Pasty?" I said, still trying to understand his delusional dislike of sugar.
"Pasties are a different story. I'll take anything baked. You have had my Grandma Molly's desserts, haven't you?" he said as I paid for my treats and we left Honeyduke's.
"So you're not totally against sugar. That makes it a little more forgivable."
"You forgive me? This must be a totally new thing for you, Finnigan. Am I actually getting on your good side?" he said, snaking an arm around my waist.
"Don't touch me, you prat!" I said, squirming away from him.†
"And here I was thinking things were going so well."
"Why on earth would you think that?"
"We managed to have a proper conversation without insulting one another. I'd say that's progress."
He was right, I hadn't insulted him through the entire conversation and he had actually been civil to me. That was really frightening, and I knew I had to fix things before they got out of hand. He was still a git, after all.†
"Well maybe I don't want to make progress with you!" I said. "Nothing has changed between us. You're still a bloody prat, and I'm only on this date this so no one finds out about the Towel Incident."
"Careful. You wouldn't want anyone to think we're arguing on our date," he said, smirking again.
"And why not? It's not like I actually like you."
"But I like you. And remember that you're here for a reason. If you want me to keep quiet, it's all up to you."
He was right. I had to get through the rest of our date if I wanted the Towel Incident to stay between us.
"Where do you want to go next?" I sighed.
"The Three Broomsticks?"
"Sure." I was really starting to hate this.
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