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Chapter 2 : The One Where Jelly is Jam
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I’ve come to a conclusion: Time’s a bitch. I have several examples to back up the theory, one being that times zones just mess shit up. For example: Here I am lying upside down off the side of my bed fully awake while the rest of Hogwarts is sound asleep. Mentally - for me - it’s only ten o’clock, so sleep is not yet an option. Here in Scotland, however, it’s three am.
Three in the morning for Merlin’s sake, and I’m just sitting here like its lunch time. Not even a relaxing spell was able to help me fall asleep, so I abandoned the idea and slipped out of bed. Pulling on a pair of socks and a long sweater over my tank top I left the room, careful not to wake anyone up.
I tiptoed down into the Gryffindor Common Room in nothing but my pajamas. The air was cooler than American air at this time of year. I mentally cursed myself for not putting on longer pants.
The air in the common room had been cold, but the air that blew through the stone corridor was frigid. The cold reached my toes even through the thick woolen fabric of my socks. To help conserve my fingers from being overtaken by frostbite, I wrapped them in the oversized sleeves of my sweater.
From somewhere farther down the corridor a tapestry floated outwards in a seemingly ghostlike pattern. Whispers erupted from behind the fluttering fabric and, instead of walking into whatever trouble was waiting for me, I took the nearest adjacent corridor.
The whispers escalated quickly to something just short of yelling. Pushing away my curiosity I continued down the corridor that led me away from the pair of voices. I wandered around the vast castle until my toes were numb, and I was hopelessly lost.
Every wall and portrait looked excruciatingly alike in the darkness of the early morning, not helping my case of finding the Gryffindor Common Room in the slightest. It wasn’t even that I couldn’t find the painting of the Fat Lady. I truly couldn’t even find the damn seventh floor.
How was it possible to lose an entire floor that was the size of the Palace of Versailles? I couldn’t tell you. It was a feat I was not exceedingly proud of. I didn’t even have my wand to shed some light on my dark surroundings. For some brilliant reason I’m not aware of I left my wand on the table next to my bed.
Though the seventh floor seemed to be uncharted territory that I could not find, I managed to find the astronomy tower without even looking. Outside the air was even cooler, but watery moonlight provided a form of light that had been unavailable inside the castle.
The moonlight was only temporary though; seconds after I stepped out of the stairwell the moon disappeared between a dark, grey cloud.
I walked over to where the stones formed a wall separating my body from the wide expanse of nothing but open air. Glancing over the edge of the tower I tried, in vain, to find the ground that I knew was a couple stories beneath my toes; I had no such luck.
The air was so full of darkness that anything beyond a couple inches was hidden to the naked eye.
“Careful,” I jumped, stumbling forwards and catching myself on the stone wall. “I think the stairs are much more efficient means of descent.”
“No kidding,” I mumbled under my breath as I put a hand to my pounding heart.
With a hand pressed to my chest I turn towards my new companion. Though the darkness barricaded my view of the newcomer I could tell by his outline and vaguely visible features that he was attractive, and by attractive I mean someone that had to be dropped down by Zeus himself.
Soon the cover of darkness disappeared as the moon rolled out from behind the clouds, revealing the boy who stood in front of me. Shrouded in darkness he had been attractive, but when he was properly visible my heart stuttered. From what Roxy had told me during dinner I presumed this was her twin.
His caramel colored skin offset his coppery-brown hair. While his sister possessed the famous Weasley red hair, Freddy’s was more brown with a slight hint of red when it hit the light. The muscles in his arms were first class; even from where I was standing I could see the muscles bulge as he leaned against the archway that lead from the stairwell. Merlin, was he something worth looking at.
“Perri,” I stuck my hand out in an effort to shatter the silence. “The American transfer who has not a single idea of how to navigate this castle without getting entirely lost.”
A smile tugged the edges of his lips. “Freddy,” He shook my hand. “Brother of Roxy and Hogwarts navigator extraordinaire.”
“So you’re the infamous Fred Weasley,” I stuffed my hands into the back pockets of my pajama shorts.
He shrugged his shoulders, lifting his arms up slightly as if saying ‘That’s what they call me.’ “So tell me, why is the American transfer wandering around the castle, alone, at three in the morning?
“Time zones,” I shook my head warily, hoping to feel the first hints of fatigue wash over me. “My internal clock is going haywire. It’s only ten o’clock back home.”
Freddy mirrored my position and dug his hands into his back pockets. “I have just the thing for you,” His dark brown eyes sparkled under the pale light.
He motioned for me to follow him. Though something in the back of my mind was slightly wary about following a stranger to an unknown place I couldn’t deny that I was intrigued. Pulling my sweater closer to my chest, I followed closely to Freddy as to avoid losing my way.
"Why are you out so late?” I asked, my curiosity overpowering the small voice in my head that urged me to be polite.
I watched with him with interest in the brief silence that followed. “I had a errand that I had to attend to.”
“At this hour?” My thoughts wandered to the whispering I had heard earlier on my way through the castle.
"No time like the present," The vagueness of his response answered my unasked questions.
My footsteps were muffled by the thick fabric of my socks. “You’re not taking me to some secret lair where you’ll then proceed to strip me of my innocence are you?”
Freddy laughed quietly to himself. “No, I’m not.”
“You would deny it if you were going to bring me to your man cave,” I told him, jogging slightly so I was walking next to him.
“My man cave?” He turned his head so he was looking at me.
I suddenly felt self conscious of the animal that resided on my head. It wasn’t like I had thought to run a comb through it or even bring a hair tie with me. “Your man cave,” I repeated. “Definition: The place where manly doings are conducted aka selling illicit goods, or something of the like.”
His laugh scared me out of my wits. I wasn’t prepared for the deep noise that erupted from his throat, echoing off the stone walls. “You think I sell drugs?”
I shrugged my shoulders under his gaze. “Probably not, but I’m not going to put it past you yet. We hardly know each other. For all you know I could be the entertainment at a strip club.”
He raised an eyebrow, and I shoved him lightly, not that I would single-handedly be able to shove someone of his muscular size.
“I was joking,” I added due to the fact that he was still staring at me.
“About the strip club?” I nodded my head. “Damn,” He murmured, though I wasn’t quite sure if he meant for me to hear him.
“Well mostly,” I winked into the darkness, though I was unsure if Freddy could even see my face.
“Mostly?” I followed Fred around a corner that looked uncannily like the one we had just taken.
I stayed quiet for a couple long seconds. “I’m pretty badass at strip poker.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Freddy grinned and reached towards a painting that showed a fruit bowl. His finger lightly tickled the pear on the portrait. The painting swung open, revealing the largest kitchen I had every laid eyes on. Elves marched around as they prepared the next morning’s breakfast.
“Good morning, Miss,” A small voice squeaked. I peered down at my sock covered feet. An elf with withered grey ears was standing at the tips of my toes, staring at me with huge orb like eyes.
“Dippy you’re just the elf I was looking for,” Freddy stated, bending down so that he was perched on his knees. “My friend Perri needs something to help her sleep.”
Dippy’s eyes, if possible, grew even wider. “Dippy knows exactly what Miss Perri needs.”
Without waiting for an order, Dippy scampered off, disappearing into the clumps of house elves. I glanced up at Fred. “Do you come here often?”
He nodded, his eyes still trained on the place where Dippy had vanished. “They’ll make you anything at anytime. It’s like having your own personal chef.”
I took a seat at one of the tables that sat rather awkwardly in the middle of the room, its worn exterior was in dire need of a good polishing. The condition of the table, however, seemed to be the least of the house elves problem at the moment.
“Does your Aunt Hermione know that you come here?”
Freddy moved his gaze over to me and raised an eyebrow. “I’m going to take that as a no.”
“She would go bat shit if she ever found out that we came here.” Freddy shook his head and ran a hand through his already mussed up hair. “If you tell her, I swear.”
I raised my heads up in the air. “I wouldn’t dare. I don’t think the wrath of Hermione is something I’d like to witness.”
“I know it all too well,” Freddy shook his head and grimaced.
“I figured that much by your reaction.” I snorted. “Well that and the incriminating rumors I’ve heard.”
Freddy looked at me in astonishment. “You’ve been here for less then twenty-four hours and you’ve already heard rumors about me?”
Dippy returned with a steaming cup of what looked to be hot chocolate with a huge dollop of whipped cream floating on top. My fingers, which were about as cold as the stone floors, were immediately affected by the warmth radiating from the ceramic mug.
I took a dainty sip, careful not to burn the taste buds off my tongue. Licking the whipped cream from my lips, I thanked Dippy and watched him scuttle back off into the crowd of elves.
I turned back to Fred. “Only the bad ones.”
Freddy scowled, and, before I could stop him, dipped two fingers into the pile of whipped cream in my mug and swiped it onto my cheeks. I stared at him, my mouth hanging wide open. Using the palm of my hand I wiped the whipped cream from my cheek.
The smirk he wore was tantalizing. Using his moment of pride and pleasure to my advantage I wiped the whipped cream down the side of his face, watching with satisfaction as the smirk slid from his face. “Oops,” I took another sip of the hot chocolate, watching him keenly over the edge of the mug.
Some of the whipped cream slipped onto the floor with a plop. I tried to determine what he was going to do next by watching the muscles in his face; they had tightened considerably in the past minute.
Freddy stood up so suddenly that the chair he had been sitting in toppled over with a great crash. He lunged forward, but I pulled the mug out of his reach. Squealing in fear I clattered out of my chair and ran until I was positioned opposite to him, an square counter top separating us.
Polishing off the rest of my hot chocolate, I placed the mug onto the countertop and made eye contact with a mischievous looking Fred. My stomach turned uncomfortably under his stare.
I had chosen poorly. Lack of thought had placed me at the back of the kitchen and Fred by the exit. If I was going to get to bed whilst I was still breathing I needed to make it out the exit and pray to Merlin that I could outrun the boy - though the prospect was doubtful.
I sucked in a deep breath, and mentally crossed myself. I moved to the right only to have Freddy block my path, a grin stretching across his handsome face. Using my hands for leverage I clambered to the top of the counter.
Sending out silent prayers to the Heavens, I scrambled across the counter. My woolen socks were going to be the death of me. I slipped across the wooden surface and toppled from the counter and onto the floor, just missing Freddy’s finger tips.
With a surprising amount of grace I picked myself up and barreled towards the exit. Fingers knotted into the sleeves of my sweater I raced down the corridor, the cool air nipping at my flushed cheeks. Freddy was seconds behind me; I could hear his feet hitting each stone and each breath he exhaled.
My ears focused on something other then Freddy quickly gaining on me; instead, I could hear the soft voice of an authoritative person who would most likely be unamused by our early morning adventure.
I stopped abruptly and Freddy crashed into me, sending the pair of us onto the floor. It felt like a god damn car had just parked itself on my back. “Someone’s coming,” I wheezed as my lungs nearly collapsed inside my chest.
Freddy swore in a low voice. Grabbing my hand he pulled me off the floor, and in two seconds flat we were flying in the opposite direction. This time around I wasn’t just following Freddy, I was being dragged around corners, through unevenly lit corridors, and up winding staircases that made my thighs burn.
It wasn’t until we were safely inside the Gryffindor Common Room that I collapsed. My chest burned. Shit. I was out of shape. Fred seemed hardly worn by the entire experience, and I was laying on the ground on the verge of a massive heart attack.
Using the last of my energy I got up off the floor. “I can assure you that I am now thoroughly exhausted.”
I nibbled slowly on the crust of my toast, watching the small crumbs fall onto the wooden table top as I ignored Roxy’s petulant stare that bore into the top of my head. Her stare was just one of many things distorting my concentration; exhaustion had swept over my body as soon as I had returned to my bed, and, even after a couple hours of sleep, it refused to leave me alone.
Where was this need to fall asleep last night when the rest of the stable minded were going to bed? Mentally cursing time zones and their infatuation with screwing people around, I lifted my gaze to Roxy’s chocolate-y brown eyes.
“Can I help you with something?” I asked tiredly, setting down the remains of my toast.
“Rox, you’re burning a hole in my skull,” I told her when she refused to answer my question. “Either spill or leave my poor head alone. I’m already having trouble focusing without you staring at me like I’ve committed some god awful crime.”
“You have!” She whispered across the table.
I lifted my hands in surrender. “Then please enlighten me because I’m lost.”
She leaned forward her hand tightening around the knife in her hand. Instinctively I leaned backwards to avoid whatever she was planning with the knife. I had a slight notion that I would not be imprisoned alone for whatever hellish crime I had committed.
“What happened with you and Fred last night?”
I rolled my eyes back into my head. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” The look on her face told me that she was not, indeed, joking at all. “You are threatening me with a knife because I met your brother last night?”
Someone snorted from behind me. I whipped my head around to find a small blonde grinning at me. Colette Ashfurd was one of my roommates. We had hit it off quite well the night before when I accidentally scared off her ex-boyfriend when I accidentally threw my knife across the table.
There are some things that just really bring people together; near maiming experiences happens to be one of those few instances.
Her white blonde hair was pulled into a pony tail and secured with a red bow. I moved over to give her room to sit down and pulled another piece of toast from the toast rack.
As Roxy’s glare continued to grow more and more penetrating I sighed. “Rox, I met Fred last night when I went out for a walk. I got lost in this labyrinth of a castle, so Fred was my guide back to the Common Room.”
Her eyes fastened to my face, trying to determine whether or not she should believe me.
“Did my chocolate work its magic last night, love?” Freddy slid into the seat next to Roxy, whose eyes were now the size of galleons.
“Hot chocolate!” I clarified, banging my fists on the table. “He brought me to the kitchens last night for some hot chocolate to help me sleep.”
Freddy looked mildly amused as his eyes panned from Roxy to me. “What’s her problem?” He jabbed a thumb towards Roxy.
I shook my head. “Your sister is convinced that we had wild sex or something last night.”
“Untangle your knickers, Rox.” Freddy threw his head back and laughed, the deepness of his voice rattling something deep down in my stomach. Roxy seemed a little relieved at his reaction. “It wasn’t wild. Kinky, maybe, but not wild.”
I rolled my eyes and kicked Fred’s shin from under the table. “Rox nothing happened. Now if you wouldn’t mind, could you pass me the jelly?”
I was rewarded with a sea of blank faces staring at me like I had just sprouted a third head. “I didn’t mean to offend anyone,” I muttered, reaching for the jar of jelly. “I’ll just grab it myself.”
Three sets of eyes followed my hand as it retrieved the jelly. Suddenly Colette’s eyes lit up. “Oh, you meant jam! Jelly’s a dessert.”
I looked down at the jelly -- well jam in this case I suppose. “Jelly’s a dessert?” Now it was my turn to look blankly at the rest of the table.
“Jelly is…” She snapped her fingers as if she was trying to conjure the substance. “A jiggly dessert that tastes like fruit!”
“Jell-o!” I cried, proud of myself for deciphering her clue.
“Sure, if that’s what you call it back home.” Roxy shrugged her shoulders, her voice was still tinged with a bit of distrust.
“Speaking of home,” Freddy said, taking a large gulp of Roxy’s coffee. “What life changing event has lead you to our humble abode?”
“A series of unfortunate events.” I stated plainly.
Roxy pulled her mug of coffee out of Freddy’s hands. “That sounds ominous.”
“It was,” I said through a mouthful of toast. “There was a bit of an incident, and my family decided it would be better if I came here.”
“An incident?” Colette asked.
I nodded my head. “An episode, an occurrence, an affair-”
“Perri, I know what an incident is,” Colette rolled her eyes.
“I was just stalling,” I helped myself to another piece of toast. “This isn’t one of my favorite topics.”
“You don’t have to talk about it, Perri,” Colette said sweetly.
I smiled at her in thanks.
There was silence for a moment before Fred raised his hand. “Can I ask a question?”
“What kind of incident?” He asked when I had nodded my head.
Roxy cuffed him across the back of the head. “Fred, you prat.”
I laughed quietly into my cup of tea. “A small one that exploded into something that made other parents question my sanity. My presence was a burden the school did not want to have to deal with, so they sent me here.”
I expected questioning glances and uncertain stares, but I was greeted with none.
A smile curled onto Freddy’s lips. “Welcome to Hogwarts School of all kinds of crazy. I think you’ll fit in just fine.”
AN: So there you have it! A small glimpse of Perri's reasoning behind transferring to Hogwarts. How did you like Freddy? I hope you love him just as much as I love him!
Thank you, thank you for reading, and please leave a pretty little review! I love hearing from all of you lovelies, even if it's only a sentence long. I love you all from the bottom of my heart
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