Chapter 2 : Friends?
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"You turned his hair red?!" Verity exclaimed as we sat down for dinner that evening.
"I'd say it was more scarlet..." Lydia muttered. Verity chose to ignore her.
"Well, we were duelling and..."
"Why were you duelling?"
"Defence Class," I shrugged awkwardly as Verity tried to stare me down.
"They weren't meant to be," Lydia sniggered. "They were meant to be demonstrating a Protego Charm, but instead they decided to start hexing one another like mad idiots."
"Why?" Harriet asked quietly.
I shrugged again.
"Is he alright?" Verity raised her eyebrows at me.
"Don't give me that look!" I protested. "He's fine! I only bloody dyed his hair, Professor Lupin fixed it for him in a millisecond."
"Did you apologise?" Verity's eyebrows went higher.
"Why should I? He was hexing me too! I just won!" I crossed my arms stubbornly.
"The pair of you are ridiculous," Verity rolled her eyes, tucking into her half-eaten dinner.
"Oh, hey Owiffer!" Lydia spoke up with a mouth full of food.
"Charming," I remarked dryly. Lydia stuck her tongue out at me once she's finished chewing.
"Hi girls," Wood greeted as he sat himself down opposite me, ruffling his unruly mop of brown hair. "What do you think, Hollis? Back to normal?"
"I thought it looked better red, personally," I smirked. "It really proved your house loyalty."
"I thought it clashed with my eyes too much though," He pulled a face, and I instantly took notice of his chocolate brown eyes. Why had I never noticed how nice his eyes were before?
Suddenly realising what I was thinking, I blinked quickly and tried to ignore the flush that was creeping up my neck, clearing my throat quickly. Wood smirked.
"I can turn it red again for the first Quidditch game if you'd like? Show some house spirit?"
"No thanks," Wood shook his head. "I won't be distracting all the girls on the pitch with hair like that, will I?"
I rolled my eyes at him, kicked him in the shins under the table for being pigheaded and returned back to my dinner.
He hissed loudly in pain, but didn't give me away to the girls who were sharing confused looks.
"Alright ladies?" Jake Lynch, Wood's roommate, squeezed himself onto the bench beside me and effectively turned the attention to himself.
"Yeah, nice to see you too, mate," Oliver poked his friend with his fork.
"You count as a lady, Ollie," Jake winked, blowing kissy faces at Wood, who scrunched up his nose in disgust and flicked a carrot at him.
Jake wasn't deterred, simply laughing and flicking the carrot off him before looking along the table. He caught eyes with a group of eleven year old girls and groaned.
The first year on the other side of him squeaked, blushed furiously and then legged it out of the Great Hall with her mates.
"What was up with that poor girl?" Verity asked.
"Oh, the one that just legged it?" Jake gestured behind him. "Nothing, it's just she and her mates all fancy me. I try not to get near them too often, but didn't notice her there until she started squealing."
"But they don't actually fancy you, do they?"
"Course they do," Jake grinned as he helped himself to some potatoes.
"But they're first years!" Lydia protested, looking wide eyed at the thought of eleven year olds having hormones. She's obviously forgotten how old she was when she first kissed a boy.
"Yeah, they all fancy you too. I was sat in the common room the other day, Millie, and I heard a load of titchy first years talking about how nice your arse was."
"Yeah, but Hollis does have an exceptionally nice arse," Oliver interjected.
I turned red and threw a spoon at him.
"What? I was complimenting you!" he scowled, rubbing his arm where the spoon had hit him. "Christ, you women are mad."
"So anyway, Millie," Jake turned to face me again with his trademark cheeky grin. "Nice job on Ollie's hair. I haven't seen him that pissed off since you turned his broom pink."
"You're just a sore loser, aren't you Wood?" I teased.
"You cheated," Wood pouted. "You didn't even use a proper spell."
"Ever heard of non-verbal magic, dunderhead?"
"Ever heard of non-verbal magic, dunderhead?" Oliver mimicked in a high pitched voice that sounded nothing like me.
"Wow. Mature, Wood."
Wood pulled a face at me and pushed his empty plate away from him.
"Want to come listen to the Puddlemere team announcements, Jake?"
"Yeah, sure," he replied, hastily finishing his dinner before scrambling off the bench and following Wood out of the Great Hall.
"You two are sooo cute together!" Verity gushed as soon as the boys were out of earshot.
"What?" I frowned at her. "Me and Jake?!"
"No, you dick! You and Oliver!"
"Why, do you like Jake?" Lydia demanded.
"What? No!" I replied instantly. "I just thought..."
"Good, because you two definitely don't suit as a couple," Verity nodded in agreement with herself. "But the banter between you and Oliver, Millie..."
"Shut up, Verity. That was not banter."
"It so was," Lydia laughed at my disgruntled expression.
"It wasn't! We were just-"
"Getting along?" Harriet suggested with a timid smile.
"No, we were just... well, I was just..."
"Flirting with Oliver Wood?" Verity teased.
The girls collapsed into giggles at the appalled expression on my face.
"Oh, would you lot shut up about it! It's not going to happen, I swear you crazy bints!"
"What's not going to happen?" Alicia, my little cousin, butted in as she and Angelina scooted up the bench to join us.
"Nothing," I replied quickly. Too quickly, it seemed, because Alicia shot me a strange look.
"We've been trying to tell Millie that it's obvious she and Oliver should go out," Lydia spilled the beans, ignoring my protests as I began to blush again.
"Really? You and Wood? As in my maniac Quidditch Captain, Wood?" Alicia scoffed, nudging me in the side.
"The very same!" Lydia grinned.
"Look it's not going to happen! You all know how much he winds me up! These lot are just being toads."
"I think you'd be cute," Angelina interjected as she munched on a chip. "Oliver does seem to pay you a lot of attention, considering you don't have anything to do with Quidditch and you two aren't exactly friends."
"She's right," Verity nodded, shooting Angelina a smile.
"Well, it's not like I hate Quidditch is it? So maybe that's why he does."
"Why, because you support a team that isn't Puddlemere?" Alicia patted my shoulder condescendingly and I scowled at her. "I've always said he has a soft spot for you. Why do you think he winds you up so much?"
"Because he's a git?"
"Because he fancies you," Verity corrected with a giggle.
"Who fancies who?" the Weasley twins instantly appeared over Verity's shoulder and I dug Alicia sharply in the ribs as she opened her mouth to reply.
"None of your business," I replied curtly, and one of them, the smirkier one (Fred?) laughed.
"Oh, is Angie going on about me again? She's always doing that," he teased poor Angelina, whose cheeks coloured as she shot him a withering look.
"In your dreams, Fred."
Ah, so I was right.
"Actually, I'm George..." he pulled an awkward face, slinging an arm around his twin.
"Oh shut up. I know it's you Fred because George is actually slightly polite, whereas you seemed to get all the arrogant genes."
Ooh, catty. The girls and I shared glances and Alicia sniggered, before quickly coming to her friends rescue.
"What did you come over here for?"
"To tell you that our jolly Captain has booked the pitch for tomorrow evening at six as well."
Angelina and Alicia simultaneously groaned.
"Does he never let you rest?" I seethed.
"Probably did it to wind you up because you dyed his hair, Millie," George suggested.
"Yeah, would you mind directing yours and Wood's sexual tension away from Quidditch? It's just, I'm quite fed up of having so many practises, and I had a date planned for tomorrow night."
"With who?" Alicia scoffed.
"Angie," Fred winked, his smile only becoming wider as Angelina scowled.
"Tell me, Fred, when exactly did I agree to a date?"
"Well, I hadn't asked you yet, had I? Otherwise you would have known about it," he teased.
"Can you two take your sexual tension elsewhere?" I mimicked Fred snippily. "You're ruining my peace and quiet."
"With pleasure," Fred winked at Angelina again, and George instantly steered his twin away as Angelina stood up, as if about to lunge at him.
"Too far, mate, too far," was all you could hear George mutter as they traipsed out of the hall.
"What an insufferable..." Angelina fumed.
"I know how you feel," I droned, resting my head on my hand as my thoughts drifted to Wood.
Saturday morning usually meant lie ins, but this weekend I just couldn't sleep. After trying to get back to sleep for another half an hour, I huffed my way out of bed and got ready for the day.
Once dressed, I considered waking the others up for some company, but Harriet had already disappeared (she was an early riser) and Verity and Lydia looked so sweet I couldn't do it. Especially considering the only time Lydia looked faintly approachable was when she was sleeping, and even then she was a drooling, snoring monster most of the time.
Closing my door quietly behind me, I pulled my hair into a rough ponytail as I padded down the stairs into the common room. It was quiet, as it usually is when you're up early on a weekend morning, but I smiled over to a stressed looking third year in the corner, Harry Potter's friend, Hermione Granger, who was probably more clever than half the Ravenclaws in my year.
There was barely anyone sat in the Great Hall, only the usual lone early risers, who had the sense to bring some form of entertainment, like a book or something.
Considering I hadn't thought ahead, and not being one to enjoy eating by myself, I snagged a stack of buttered toast, wrapping it in a napkin, before setting off for a walk.
It was a nice day, slightly chilly as it was mid-October, but sunny all the same. I closed my eyes and smiled as I felt the sun hit my skin as I stumbled down the sloping path into the grounds.
Spotting figures zooming around the Quidditch pitch I was instantly reminded of Alicia's moaning about an early morning practise, so I hurried faster so I could catch some of their practise.
If the team noticed me as I clambered into the stands, munching on toast, nobody made any signs. They seemed fairly busy.
I watched as Wood yelled at the Weasley twins for messing around (they were using their wands against the Bludger), whilst Harry zoomed around by himself, absent-mindedly searching for the Snitch.
Wood soon became preoccupied by his Chasers though, as they flew together in seamless formation, passing the Quaffle back and forth so quickly it become a red blur to me.
I admired Alicia as she took the lead and threw the Quaffle onto the left hoop. Wood just managed to hit it back with the end of his broom, but he'd fallen for her fantastic feint as she shot. His voice sounded less aggressive as he shouted to her, suggesting that he was congratulating her rather than being abusive for once.
To be fair to Wood, he was a good Captain in that he had the teams respect and he worked extremely well with them, making them easily the best team in the school.
But sometimes he just went a bit over the top.
The practise ended at around nine, and I made my way towards the pitch as they staggered off their brooms, wincing and groaning.
Angelina was also cursing Wood under her breath, whilst Katie Bell rubbed at her aching shoulders.
"Millie?" Alicia frowned as she rubbed at the mud on her cheek. "What are you doing here?"
"Couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd come and watch," I grinned. "You guys looked great out there."
"Thanks," Alicia smiled, cheering slightly. "Think we'll win?"
"Definitely," I linked arms with her, producing my pile of toast. "Breakfast, anyone?"
"Oh my merlin, you absolute star!" Alicia squealed, whilst Angelina, Katie and the Weasley twins made noises of agreement as they scoffed the remains of my toast down.
"What are you doing here, Hollis?" Wood frowned as he wiped at his sweaty brow.
I shrugged. "Wanted to come see my baby cousin practise. Problem with that?"
"Nope," his lips curved around the word as he stared me down. "Just not like you to be an early riser."
There was a silence as the team stood awkwardly as Wood and I sent one another odd looks.
"Fred, George?" Wood broke the silence first, leaning against his broom and addressing his Beaters. "Put the box back in the store?"
They obeyed, picking up the heavy black box between them and staggering underneath it's weight as they heaved it back into the Quidditch buildings.
"So... feeling confident for the first match?" I broke the silence as the others peeled off to go and get changed.
"We're nearly there," Wood smiled half-heartedly. "I don't tell them that, but they're doing well."
"Good thing Slytherin are doing terribly then."
"What?" Oliver span around to face me.
"I might have watched one of their practises the other afternoon..." I smirked.
"They didn't see you?"
"No, I was just going for a walk with Verity and we didn't realise they were practising. So we stayed and watched for a bit."
"Malfoy's shit," I snorted. "He's got nothing on Harry, and the rest of the team are as stupid as usual. Flint went for brawny rather than brainy."
"Like most years," Oliver snorted. "Did you hear any plays, or..?"
"That would be cheating, Wood," I gave him my disappointed Prefect look, before grinning at the look on his face. "All I heard was Flint telling them to play dirty if you pulled ahead."
"That's normally his only tactics," he rolled his eyes. "Think you could-"
"No, Wood. I am not spying for you!"
"I wasn't asking-" his cheeks coloured.
"Yes you were," I smirked.
He stopped suddenly and looked at me with a weird look on his face.
"What?" my hands jumped to my face, wondering if there was something on it.
"Nothing," he replied quietly. "I just really don't get you sometimes."
"Because you..." he broke off, running a hand through his hair. "One minute you're screaming about how much you hate me, and then the next we're like... well, we're like this. I don't get where I stand or..."
"I don't hate you," I shrugged. "You annoy me more than anyone else I know, but you're also kind of my friend too so..."
"Your friend?" Wood repeated incredulously.
"Why, aren't I your friend?" I asked, offended.
Wood stayed silent for a minute, but started laughing as soon as I reached over to punch him, catching my fist in his hand and pulling me in for a hug.
"Don't worry, you're my friend, Miss Millie," he whispered into my hair.
"Cool," he repeated, slowly letting go of me just as I was starting to enjoy myself.
What? Wood's a good hugger. In a purely platonic way. Obviously.
Ah, the joy of Prefect rounds.
Thankfully, now that Percy's Head Boy, I don't have to patrol with him because he used to do my nut in. Instead, I patrol with Orion Chase, the Ravenclaw that used to do rounds with our esteemed Head Girl, Penelope.
"So, what's going on with the Gryffindor's then?"
"If you're trying to get Quidditch secrets out of me, you'll fail," I replied, narrowing my eyes jokingly at Orion, who was one of Ravenclaw Beater's.
"What, you think I'd do that?" He gasped, feigning offence. "Just because you're the Captains girlfriend, Millie, doesn't mean I'd stoop so low!"
"I'm not his bloody girlfriend," I groaned, shoving him in the direction of the stone wall we were walking alongside.
"Yeah, ok then," Orion rolled his eyes. "So why is the whole school saying you are."
"Because this school loves to gossip, yet the rumours are hardly ever true."
"I think you like him though."
"You think wrong."
"Come on, I know this stuff!"
"Just because you have a girlfriend, Orion, doesn't not mean you know everything."
"But I do!" he protested. "It's so obvious. When you two get on, you're practically molesting one another with your conversation, and when you're not, the sexual tension is enough to do the same."
"That is absolute shit."
"Don't insult my theories!" he frowned. "You know I'm right, you just don't want to admit it."
"Sure," I replied sarcastically.
"You could at least try it, and just stop being so stubborn."
"You forget that I'm a Gryffindor."
"Right." He scoffed. "Being stubborn is like second nature. And ridiculous pride. Oh, and arrogance..."
"Oi, stop dissing Gryffindors!" I punched him lightly in the arm. "You're just jealous of how we're easily the coolest house in the school."
"Why are you so bloody violent today?" He rubbed at his arm and pouted like a child.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
"I think it's because you're acting out, as you're repressing your feelings for Oli-"
His words cut off into a yelp as I pushed him into the wall again.
"How were rounds?" Harriet asked as I entered the common room and joined the collection of seventh years by the fire.
"Alright. Orion was being annoying though," I grumbled, plonking myself down next to Lydia on the sofa.
"The hot Ravenclaw?" Verity piped up from her position, sprawled out on the floor scribbling out an essay.
"Verity, he has a girlfriend," I sighed.
"So what? I was only saying he's hot, not like I'd try anything," Verity muttered, poking me with the feathered end of her quill. I barely felt it.
"Who's hot?" Wood asked as he appeared from nowhere and squeezed onto the sofa beside me. It was only made for three people, at a squish, and with Lydia and Mark already sat next to me I practically ended up on his lap. I bristled uncomfortably.
"Orion Chase," Jake grumbled. The boys hated it when we talked about how other boys were attractive.
"The 'Claw Beater?"
"Yeah, Millie does her Prefect rounds with him."
"I didn't know that," Oliver turned to face me, frowning slightly.
"Why would you?" I raised an eyebrow, trying to resist the urge to wipe the mud from his cheek.
Wood shrugged and rested an arm on the sofa behind me.
"Ew, Wood you stink," I pushed him away, wrinkling up my nose. "Go shower."
"Na, don't feel like it," he shrugged. "Anyway, I know you like it. Mud and sweats your thing, right?"
I blushed, the back of my neck heating up as I remembered the dirty conversation Verity and I had had one night last year, only to discover the boys had been listening in.
"Oh, yeah, I forgot about that!" Jake laughed. "You professed your love for Quidditch players."
Wood winked and I rolled my eyes at him.
"And Verity was talking about how she liked to be manhandled," Mark sniggered.
"Hey, what's the point in snogging if it's not exciting?" Verity shot everyone a look.
"What's with the notice board?" I asked as I glanced over to the group of third years huddling around it.
"Hogsmeade on Halloween," Harriet explained.
"Oh, right. Are we going?"
"Well, Mark and Lydia are..." Jake smirked as the pair turned red.
"Shut up, Jake," Mark groaned, before grinning at Lydia.
"Ohh," I grinned. "You two are going alone."
"And we'll stalk them," Verity grinned evilly at an embarrassed Lydia. Woah, the girl hardly ever blushed.
"Can we take a break and visit Honeydukes though?" I requested. "I'm almost out of sugar quills, and you know I can't make it through a History of Magic Class without one."
"Is that what you're always bloody crunching on?" Wood scowled. "That sound does my nut in!"
"You crunch on sugar quills?" Verity scrunched up her nose in confusion. "That's so weird! You're meant to suck them!"
"Just because you suck everything Verity-"
"Fuck off, Lynch," Verity flicked her inky quill at Jake, who yelled and leapt up when she covered his shirt in black spots.
"Verity!" Harriet scolded, but as usual, she wasn't listened to. As if Verity would ever listen to someone.
"Oh, I also want to visit the Post Office..." Verity added, ignoring Jake's glare in her direction.
"How come? Who are you sending a letter to?" Lydia asked nosily.
"Oh, just this boy from France I met during the holidays..."
"You didn't say there was a boy! A French one!" Lydia gasped excitedly.
I watched as Verity smirked down at her parchment, enjoying the effect her news was having. Attention-seeker.
"What's his name?"
"Jean-Paul, he's a wizard too."
"What a ridiculous name," Jake scoffed.
Harriet and I shared a quick look. Was that jealousy I detected?
"He's so sexy," Verity grinned, ignoring Jake's comment. "He's all tanned and muscular, and he says my name in this special way and it's just.. mmm," she clutched a hand to her chest. "Not to mention the snogging!"
"I can't believe you! Why didn't you tell us before?"
Verity shrugged, casting Jake a side-long glance. Did she...?
"So, are you going to see him then? If you're writing him?" Lydia pressed.
"Maybe," Verity bit her lip. "I mean, the sex was amazing too-"
The boys instantly all groaned, Harriet squeaking loudly and blushing, whilst Lydia and I burst into giggles.
"What?" Verity rolled her eyes. Oh, how I'd missed my best friend's open chats about her sex life.
"So, why maybe?" I asked, shooting her a questioning look.
She ignored it and flicked her hair over her shoulder, knowing that Jake was watching her. "Well, it's quite a distance, and I don't know if it was actually anything more than a fling. I mean, he was sexy, but not really my type."
"What, did he not manhandle you enough, Michaels?" Wood snickered.
"Oh, sod off Wood," I answered for Verity, who'd already gathered up her things and stomped off to our dorm.
Harriet made to get up and follow, but I shook my head. "I'll go."
I quickly followed Verity up the stairs, shooting Wood a final glare before disappearing up the girls staircase.
Verity was slumped on her bed, her chin resting on her crossed arms. I quietly sat down on the end of it.
"So, when were you going to tell me you fancied Jake?" I broke the silence.
Verity instantly flipped over to face me, blushing from head to toe. "I don't bloody fancy him!"
"Then what was all that about then?" I raised an eyebrow. "You obviously brought it up in front of them for a reason."
"What? No!" she scoffed. "I just said it. You know I don't care who knows about my sex life."
"Yeah, but you don't normally save things. Is there even a Jean-Paul?"
"Yes!" she blushed an even deeper shade of red. "I'm not bloody lying!"
"Exaggerating the truth?"
"Urgh, fine!" she scowled. "There was a Jean-Paul this summer, but we're not writing."
"So why did you say you were?"
"Because I was bored?"
I shot her a stern look and this time she faltered.
"Is it that obvious?"
"Only to me," I slipped an arm around her shoulders. "Because I'm your bestie, so I'm meant to notice things like that."
"I'm not even sure if I do like him, you know," she rested her head against me. "But he is quite good looking, and funny..."
"You were hair flicking, V," I snorted.
She hid her face in her hands, knowing what was coming.
"And you only hair flick when you want to have sex with the guy," I finished with a smirk. "You want to have sex with Jake Lynch!"
"He's attractive! It's definitely just a physical thing, I couldn't actually be interested in him being my-" she shuddered at the thought of the word 'boyfriend'.
Ever since a bad break-up in fifth year, when the boy in question had pestered her for the next four months remaining until our summer, Verity hadn't had another boyfriend.
I didn't particularly blame her though. That boy had put me off getting a boyfriend too. (Nothing to do with my lack of offers.)
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"Because I was embarrassed," Verity mumbled. "And you know what Lydia's like, the whole school would know if I told her."
"I'm not so sure," I smirked. "Any minute Lydia's going to come up here gushing about how amazing Mark is, and if go threaten her that you'll tell him if she says anything - then she'll keep her gob shut."
"Hmmm," Verity chewed on the inside of her lip. It was her thinking pose. "That's a good point, actually."
She grinned and tackled me into her arms, planting a sloppy kiss on my cheek. "Thanks, Millie."
There was a thumping on the stairs, as presumably Lydia made her way up.
"Three, two, one..." I counted down under my breath as Verity smirked.
"Oh my god!" Lydia squealed as she burst through the door. "Mark asked me to Hogsmeade! He's so cute and nice, and have you ever noticed his eyes before?" she gushed. "They're so amazing... I hope our children get his eyes, I just get so lost in them..."
Verity and I shared a look before bursting into a fit of giggles.
A/N - maybe this chapter wasn't particularly exciting - but I'm only just getting started! I'd really love some reviews, any authors on here know that a review makes it more enjoyable to write :) thanks for reading x
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