Chapter 9 : A Haunting in Hogsmeade
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Perfection comes in the form of Melody Pond @ TDA!
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize :) Enjoy!
“So,” Amelie said, looking around at Miles, Charlie, and I. “Hogsmeade is this Saturday. I have decided that we are all going. Together.” She shook her brunette waves back as she surveyed all of us seriously.
“Er, together?” Charlie asked incredulously.
Amelie sniffed. “Yes, Charlie, together. It’ll be a ‘group hang.’”
I snorted into my usual mug of coffee and received a pinch to my under-arm skin. “Ow! Amelie you bloody snot!”
“That’s what you get for laughing at me. All I’m trying to do is spend time with my friends! Is that really so much to ask?” Her puppy dog eyes were perfectly executed.
I sighed. Those eyes worked every time and she knew it. “All right Ames, I’m in. I need some new quills anyway. You two?” I asked, looking to Charlie and Miles.
Miles nodded and Charlie stared straight at me as he responded with, “If you’re going then I’m there.”
Charlie had been trying (and succeeding) in getting into my head for the past week. I couldn’t stop thinking about his lips on mine, for however briefly it had been. He could no longer speak without my eyes travelling straight to his soft, lovely mouth. As much as I tried to fight it, I wanted more. I had absolutely no idea what my issue was, as it was clear that Charlie wanted to do more than just work on Charms together, but every time I attempted to tell him how I was feeling, my throat went dry and the words got caught in my throat.
“Great!” Amelie exclaimed. “Well, Ducky, are you walking me to Transfig or not?”
Miles huffed and rolled his eyes. “You’d think I’m just your bloody slave.”
She paused as she began to walk away. “Aren’t you?” she asked cheekily.
“Oi you!” he yelled, racing after her into the Entrance Hall.
Picking at my sleeve, I looked down at the half-eaten grapefruit on my plate. After not eating dinner last night, I hadn’t even had the energy to do a full two hours of ballet this morning.
“Strawberry?” Charlie asked innocently, handing me the fruit. He made sure to brush his fingers against mine and winked when I took it. It was time to give the prat a taste of his own medicine.
“Sure, thanks Char,” I said mischievously. I delicately wrapped my mouth around the fruit and slowly bit into it, licking the juice from the corner of my mouth. “Mmm…”
I sucked the tips of my fingers when I was finished and smiled at him. “Well, thanks for the strawberry again! I’m off to Transfig.” As I got up from the table, I made sure that my skirt swished and my hips swayed.
Recovering from his statue-esque position, Charlie bolted over to me and took my satchel and books.
I smiled; too easy.
“Why do I feel like this was all a conspiracy to get us on a date?” I asked as Miles and Amelie speed-walked in front of us.
Charlie smirked and put his hands in his jeans pockets. “Probably because it was.”
It was Saturday and that meant Hogsmeade, so the four of us had all met in the Entrance Hall at 11am sharp. I had nearly been late because the prefect’s bathroom had been in use when I went to shower after dancing, and I had put extra effort into my appearance.
My hair was done in a complicated inverted braid that snaked down my head diagonally and fell over my left shoulder. I had on my “fancy” earrings, which were dangly, gold ones that I received from my mum when I turned thirteen, as well as Amelie’s ‘go-get-‘em’ black knee-high boots and black pants. As soon as I had arrived, Amelie all but dragged Miles out the door, taking off at an unnatural speed.
“Typical Amelie,” I muttered uncomfortably, crossing my arms around myself. My thin sweater wasn’t doing much to keep out the brisk October air. Plus the sweater showed off a little more than I wanted to. Amelie had said it would “make his pants pop.”
Charlie looked over. “You cold?”
I uncrossed my arms. “No…” As the wind blew, I shivered violently, giving me away.
He laughed. “Here,” he said, and reached back to remove his hooded jumper.
“Oh no you don’t have to -” I started, my words falling short as his lower abdomen was revealed for a glorious four seconds. He was certainly lickable. “Thanks,” I finished lamely, accepting the jumper. At least now I didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing my muffin top.
He watched as I slid it on. It came to just above my knees and the sleeves had to be rolled up three times in order for my hands to be seen. The jumper smelled delicious, like boy and pine, and it was all I could do to withhold from stuffing my nose into it.
“Huh, you look much better in that than me,” he smirked. “Now come on, Hogsmeade awaits, Cadence!”
With his hand on the small of my back, we set off once more. I crossed my arms again, trying to prevent the shivers that had absolutely nothing to do with the wind.
When we reached the cobblestone streets of Hogsmeade, Amelie and Miles were nowhere to be found. Instead, we saw Anders and Abigail snogging up against the wall of Zonko’s. No, thank you.
Sighing, I turned my gaze to the ginger-haired boy who was trying to casually stand about an inch from me. “Well, what do you want to do?”
His (gorgeous) lips curved into a smile. “You up for an adventure?”
Without waiting for a response, he grabbed my hand and set off at a fast pace down High Street.
“Where are you taking me?” I shouted as I ran to keep up with him.
Charlie turned his head towards me. “On an adventure, like I said!”
After a bit more running, he slowed down. It turned out that his idea of an adventure was taking me to the Shrieking Shack.
“I am not going in there,” I said, backing away from the decrepit structure.
He started walking towards the shack and glanced over his shoulder at me. “Why, you scared?”
Pride. That’s the only explanation I could come up with for why I started to follow him. Damn my Gryffindor qualities.
I clutched at the back of Charlie’s shirt as he gently pushed the door open and stepped inside. Immediately we were accosted the stench of must, mold, and rot. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could see overturned furniture and shredded wallpaper. A rat scurried in front of Charlie’s feet and I jumped back.
“What happened in here?” I whispered after a moment, my breath a cloud of mist in front of me.
“No one knows,” Charlie replied, his eyes twinkling. “It’s haunted.”
I pursed my lips and leaned towards him. “Something tells me you don’t believe that.”
He laughed aloud. “And something tells me that you do.”
I lit my wand so I could get a better look at the place and gravitated towards the wall by a set of broken stairs. There were slash marks about eight feet long carved deeply into the wood panels. As I traced the marks with my fingers, leaving prints in the dust, Charlie grabbed me from behind.
“You bastard! You scared the shite out of me!” I yelled, punching at him. As I swung at him a third time he grabbed my fists and backed me up against the wall.
“Where are you going to go now, huh Weaver?” he whispered teasingly.
My breathing was quick and shallow and I began to feel claustrophobic as I looked up at him. His lips found mine the same time his hands found my waist.
He kissed me hungrily and roughly, practically devouring me. He grabbed my braid in his fist and dragged my head back to get a better angle, running his tongue over mine. His hands clutched the skin on my hips tightly, his jumper shoved halfway up my torso. He groaned and ran a hand from my cheek to my neck, then down my arm to my hip, landing on my bum.
“Stop!” I gasped, shoving him away.
Charlie stumbled backwards, breathing heavily. “Cadence I -”
I ripped his jumper off and threw it at his feet. “Don’t bother.”
He stood stock-still as I brushed past him out the door. How could he do that to me? And why was my heart racing so much? I felt…slimy.
Monday night found me holed up in the library. I was at a table completely out of sight behind a shelf of books on the history of magic. As no one ever came for books in that section, the table was usually occupied by couples that wanted a snog. I had kicked Anders and Abigail out using my prefect powers about two hours ago.
I sat with my legs up on the chair next to me, still in my uniform but with my feet in a pair of knit boots instead of my regulation black flats. I absentmindedly doodled onto a piece of parchment as wisps of hair fell out of my bun and into my face. I had drawn the Whomping Willow smashing a black heart to bits. It may or may not have been my own.
There was something about what Charlie had done that felt particularly vile. I hadn’t participated much in the kiss, I had just stood there. It’s not that I hadn’t wanted it, I just didn’t want it like that- in some dark, musty room backed into a wall. He had been so…rough, like he thought he was playing quidditch or something. It had all just been too fast, almost like an attack; I’d told him that I needed to take it slowly and he hadn’t listened.
I looked up, completely unsurprised as I saw Charlie standing there rubbing the back of his neck. He’d been trying to talk to me for two days straight, and, frankly, I was getting bored of having to avoid him.
“Can I sit? Please?” he asked, taking a step closer to me.
I gradually set down my quill and, without looking at him, gestured to a seat across from me.
He sat down gratefully. “Cadence, I cannot express in words how sorry I am. I was being a disgusting prick, and I feel like rubbish about it. I want-I need you to know how apologetic I am, and how badly I feel. I’d do anything to be able to take it back.”
“Cadence, can you at least look at me?” Charlie asked softly.
I did as he asked and was angry to find that there were tears filling my eyes.
He furrowed his brows in sadness and reached across the table to take my chin in his hand. “Hey now,” Charlie murmured. “Don’t cry, please? I never meant to hurt you Cadence. I just, I like you so bloody much, and seeing you in my jumper, smelling like vanilla and staring up at me with those big hazel eyes of yours I…I lost control. You’re just so beautiful and, in that moment, I couldn’t help it.”
I sniffed and started chuckling. At Charlie’s confused expression, I explained. “We always seem to be apologizing and giving each other these big speeches in the library.”
At this, he began chuckling as well. “Yeah I suppose you’re right about that.”
“What’s wrong with us that we just can’t be normal?” I mused aloud.
Suddenly the two of us burst into laughter, and we couldn’t stop, even when we were gasping and choking for air.
“You two! Out!” Madame Pince appeared out of nowhere and shoved a bony finger in our faces. I got the strange urge to bite it. We grabbed our things and ran for it, laughing all the while.
“Wow, that was…” I trailed off after a moment, remembering why Charlie and I were here in the first place. “That was something.”
He turned to face me. “So does this mean that you forgive me for my lack of judgment and extreme stupidity?”
“Well, Captain…I really can’t stay mad at you for long. If you promise to truly take things slow with me, then I forgive you,” I said, smiling softly at him. Going even two days without speaking to him had been miserable; I’d just wanted to run into his arms every time he was nearby.
His grin told me he rather enjoyed being referred to as ‘Captain.’ “You’re the best Cadence,” Charlie said. “Now get over here!” He pulled me into his chest and planted a kiss on top of my head.
I breathed in deeply, practically preening at the steady warmth his body provided.
“Come on, let’s get you back to the Common Room. To prove to you how sorry I really am, I’ll even help you with the Transfiguration homework.” Charlie slung an arm around me as we started walking.
Grinning, I leaned into him. “Oh good! I was trying to fudge my way through the spell for a solid hour.” And once again, balance was restored to my life.
After Charlie helped me finish my homework, I went to sleep and dreamed about him jumping out of a giant cake wearing nothing but his underwear. When Amelie woke me up for breakfast and ruined the dream, I gave her a unibrow with my wand.
“What I wouldn’t give to get a piece of that,” a smarmy voice called out from behind me, followed by the loud smack of gum being chewed.
I whipped around to face Bartholomew Thames, Ravenclaw’s quidditch captain and resident chauvinistic pig.
“What did you say to her?” Charlie asked threateningly, stepping in front of me protectively. When Miles stepped forward as well, cracking his knuckles, I rolled my eyes. Bloody Gryffindors.
Bartholomew smirked. “I said, your girl’s got a fine arse on her. I’d like to get it into a closet some time. How about it sweet cheeks?”
Before anything bad could happen, I grabbed a hold of Charlie’s elbow. “Char, leave it. He’s not worth it, and he’s just trying to get you banned from the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff game this weekend.”
“You’ll get all the satisfaction you want when you wreck Ravenclaw in the match next month,” Amelie added as she put her arm around Miles’ waist.
The four of us continued on our way into the Great Hall after an apprehensive moment, where I thought the vein in Charlie’s neck was going to explode and there would be a dead Claw on the ground.
“Yeah, listen to your slags, boys!” Bartholomew crowed, and his muscle-head cronies laughed uproariously. That wasn’t even a good come back!
Charlie tensed for a moment, but simply put his hand on my back and propelled me into the Hall.
I thought that the issue had been dropped, but I was proved very wrong when we got to Defense later.
“Okay class,” Professor Podmore said. “Today, we’re going to be practicing non-verbally disarming an opponent. Do we have two volunteers? Ah, no, let’s do it this way. Mr. James, would you come up here please? And how about…”
Charlie shot his hand in the air. “Professor? I’d really like to give it a go,” he called eagerly.
“Oh no,” I whispered, giving Amelie and Miles a worried look. Griffon looked confused.
Professor Podmore, a squat and square-jawed man, nodded. “All right Mr. Weasley, come right on up here then. On my call, Mr. James is going to non-verbally try and disarm Mr. Weasley. The key is to concentrate on the spell, the wand movement, and the theory behind the charm. One, two, three, go!”
I waited for a tense moment, but nothing happened. Bartholomew looked frustrated and slightly constipated as he scrunched his face up in effort.
“Okay Mr. Weasley, now it’s your turn to try and disarm him.” Our professor looked mildly bored.
Charlie fingered his wand and I noticed his grip, so tight that his knuckles were pale. All of a sudden, Bartholomew was disarmed with so much force that he stumbled backwards and slammed into the wall.
“Phwoar…” Griffon breathed. The class sat in silence for a moment as Bartholomew steadied himself, looking fit to kill.
Charlie was breathing heavily, his expression hard.
“All right, well, that was something…” Podmore began uncertainly. “Er, so that’s how you disarm an opponent, although such force is not always necessary. 10 points to Gryffindor.”
Charlie sidled back over to our desk casually as the bell rang, grabbing our satchels.
“What the hell was that?” I hissed furiously as I tried to keep up with his fast pace. “I don’t need you to defend my honor, you know.”
He shrugged innocently. “Oh, I know. I was just showing him a lesson was all.”
I rolled my eyes at his masculine pride. “He’s going to be out for blood Charlie, and you’ve a match in less than a week!”
Charlie grinned and put his arm around me, pulling me into his side. “Aww, Weaver’s worried about me! Don’t worry, I can take care of myself. I’m a big boy.” He whispered the last part into my ear with a devilish smile.
Blushing, I hid my smile and leaned my head on his arm.
“Griffon, everything okay?” He had been silent during rounds, and we were nearing the end of our shift. He was never quiet for this long. Usually he was the one that kept the conversation going.
Said nerd ruffled his hair with his hand and sighed. “Yes. Maybe. I don’t know anymore.”
He looked so defeated that I put an arm around him. “What’s up? You’ll feel better if you tell me.”
“It’s this girl,” Griffon admitted embarrassedly.
My mouth dropped open in shock. “Griffon Baker likes someone? A girl no less! I didn’t know you could take your head out of a book long enough to develop a crush,” I teased.
“It’s not just a crush! I think I love her,” he moaned, shaking his head in despair.
I frowned. “So, what’s the problem? Ask her on a date!”
Griffon scowled. “It’s not exactly that simple, Cadence. I mean, look at me!”
“I am! And I see a handsome, brave, smart, funny guy named Griffon. Seriously, ask her out! She’d be a fool to turn you down.” I gave his shoulder a squeeze.
We reached the portrait hole. “Mermaid tail,” Griffon stated. “You know what Cadence? I’m going to do it! Tomorrow morning at breakfast, I’m going to ask her to sit with me at the match!”
As Griffon sprinted excitedly over to the stairs, he shouted a quick ‘thanks!’ over his shoulder before disappearing.
I dusted off my shoulder and blew on my nails before flipping my hair over my shoulder and heading up to my own dorm. Dreams of Charlie awaited the matchmaker.
The next morning found us in the Great Hall, where Griffon randomly got up from the table and walked away.
“What’s he doing?” Amelie hissed. I followed her frantic gaze and saw Griffon slowly approaching Coralie Samuels, Queen of Ravenclaw and ex-girlfriend of Bartholomew Thames.
I felt slightly sick. “I may or may not have told him to ask her out,” I whispered feebly.
Miles, Charlie, Amelie, Anders, and Abigail all whipped their heads around to stare at me as though I had suddenly turned purple.
“Why the hell would you do that?” Anders all but yelled as Abigail clapped a hand over her mouth.
Oh gods oh gods oh gods. “I didn’t know he was talking about Coralie! He just said he liked some girl and I told him to ask her out!”
“Nice going Weaver, she’s going to chew him up and spit him out. She only dates the cream of the crop! She dated a seventh year when she was a fourth year! She’s got a reputation for breaking hearts, and now poor little Super Nerd is going to be one of them,” Abigail said snobbily.
Anders appraised his girlfriend. “Wow Abs, I didn’t know you actually cared about him.”
“Yeah well, he’s grown on me.”
Amelie shushed us. “Guys, focus! He’s going in for the kill!”
Griffon tapped Coralie on the shoulder and she turned away from her friends, who were now smirking and giggling like they knew exactly what was about to happen. I felt like everything was going in slow motion. Oh gods oh gods oh gods. Merlin save me, or better yet, just kill me so I don’t have to witness this.
He said something to her and she let out a tinkling laugh.
“Huh,” Charlie said. “Maybe the kid’s got game.”
After a few more moments of talking, Coralie smiled and nodded, and I vaguely could see her mouth form the word, ‘okay.’
Griffon whipped around and caught my gaze, giving me an enthusiastic thumbs up.
“Holy shit…” Miles breathed.
“Holy shit,” I agreed.
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