ALOHA: The chapters are shorter, I've noticed. Well, that's just how some things go sometimes. But seriously--the reviews are pretty low. I'm not feeling the love here, people! I'm not feeling the L O V E. So show me you care and review. Thank you.
Anyways, I'm pretty much killing time until it gets to the Yule Ball, when all the excitement always happens. I'll be taking a different approach this time, of course--giving you all of the accounts from that night each without Angelina's perspective or knowledge, should be fun. I already wrote part of it and can't wait to write the rest. Good fun.
I won't ruin anything for you, enjoy. And show your enjoyment, s'il vous plaît!
Also, just know this doesn't end after Hogwarts--the story is going to go for a long while.
"Hey, Ang. We were just about to leave. Where've you been?" Alicia asked.
"Uh, I just wanted to take a walk. A slow, thoughtful walk. And I couldn't find my bag." And I was being assaulted by Fred. Assaulted, harassed, lusted for.
"Right," said Katie. She was sitting in between Alicia and Lee Jordan, who joined us for the day.
I sat opposite the three of them and slouched in the booth. George sat beside me, leaning against the wall. "There he is," he said as he head peeked up from over the booth seat.
I turned my head to see Fred walking in. The light was coming in from the outside, highlighting him like he was sent from above. He did the perfect motion of running his fingers through his hair and walking with the seductive strut to sit—right beside me, of course.
"Hello, everyone. Good day, huh?" He looked at everyone with the biggest smile on his face.
"And where were you, Mr. Weasley?" Katie asked. Her shoulder brushed against Lee's and she lost focus for a moment before turning back to Fred.
"Business, as usual." Fred placed his elbow on the table with his hand in his hair. He looked around the Three Broomsticks and observed the clusters of people throughout.
I ceased my reverie at fear of drooling and turned to George. "What have you been up to, other twin?"
George pointed to himself. "Better twin." Could not agree more. He shrugged. "Same." In so few words, you could get addicted. Perhaps it was those few words that made you linger on them, forcing you to beg for more.
I am a bad, bad girl. I'm having lusty thoughts about the wrong twin. Or maybe he's the right twin. As long as I don't do—anything, I'm just fine. Perfect. I can have lusty thoughts about whoever I want. I guess.
I feel like I put too much of a romantic aspect on our group of friends. Normally, we would all be having a great, unequivocal time. It's just there is so much tension here. For some odd reason. See, we all—well, we're all really close in a platonic way. But we are all attractive, and therefore this can be the time in our lives when we fool around with each other and no one can say anything otherwise because we're just hormonal adolescents.
There were a couple of moments of silence, or perhaps I blocked out the conversation. Either way, suddenly everyone was looking at me and Katie's mouth was moving.
"Angelina, you have seemed so—off lately. Are you all right?" Katie is always so perceptive. Too perceptive.
"Yes, I'm fine. It's just—I haven't been getting very good sleep, is all." I hate lying. I sleep fine when I'm not dreaming.
Fred's mouth twitched only for a second before he darted out of the booth and out of the Three Broomsticks without another word. I scooted over to give George more space but he stayed cramped to the wall, seemingly deep in thought as he stared at the tabletop.
"Well how's about that first task?" Lee said, a smile spread across his face as his passion for competition was apparent.
"I know! I'm so excited!" Katie said enthusiastically.
"Honest, what about Potter!"
"I'm worried for him," joined Alicia.
"I'm going to go, guys," George said beside me.
"But conversation was just getting good," said Alicia.
"I'll follow you," I said. I scooted out of the booth and let George proceed before me.
"Coming with me," said George. He smiled as he held the door for me.
The cold rushed over me and a shiver ran through my spine. "Oh, it's nothing, George." I laughed.
"It's no fun to walk back to the castle alone." He shoved his hands down in his pockets.
"I suppose." I brushed my hair behind my ear and looked over at him.
"You do seem a bit offset, Angelina," he said, looking directly at me.
I noticed how slowly we were walking but didn't proceed any faster. I shrugged in response. "I don't know, I've got a lot going on."
"A lot going on up here." He stopped and had his hands on the side of my head, directing the response to my complicated mind. He smiled as he let go and proceeded to continue walking. His hands hung by his sides, fidgeting. A smirk came back to his face before it just slid away.
"I suppose. Nothing serious, of course."
"It seems it. That's all you are lately, serious. I wish you would lighten up. I miss the old, playful Ang. The one that beats me up at regular intervals just for a laugh." The smile came back.
I punched him playfully in the arm. "Do you really wish that? I've a mean punch, you know?"
"Yeah, I know."
Silence rose between the two of us for a couple of minutes while we covered the walk back to the castle. Our pace remained slow, I was savouring the calm moments that I rarely had. I was completely at ease when I was around him, my mind wasn't bothered with anything except the current moment. It was a kind of escape.
"George, do you fancy Alicia?" For unknown reasons, I decided to ask.
His mouth twitched, smiling still. "Wow, that's unexpected. Blunt, nevertheless."
"Curiosity will do that to you," I said. I sighed. "So?"
"Alicia, well, she's—Alicia is a sweet girl, she's good fun. Honestly, I don't know if I like her. I like being around her." His eyes had been on the ground and he finally looked up at me. "But I fancy being around you and I'm not exactly ready to propose, right?"
He shrugged. "She's made it clear what she wants and I wish she wouldn't. It gets me—jittery or something. I feel uncomfortable when people openly fancy me." The sweetest, childish grin grew on his face. He seemed so innocent, pure. What a facade he could put on.
"A genuine answer, I guess."
Not a minute passed in silence before he stated—not asked, "You fancy Fred."
"Uh," I stuttered. My mind raked over things to say. George had been so composed and honest when he gave his answer and I wish I could. "Same."
"Same answer you gave."
"Fred is sweet and good? You do not understand your feelings towards him but you like being around him. He also makes it clear that he wants you very much and you are uncomfortable with that?"
"You're not a very good liar, Angelina." He stopped me by putting his hand on my shoulder. His head was tilted to the side, curious. "What is it that you're hiding?"
"Um. I don't know if I rate Fred. I mean, I fancy being around him just like you with Alicia. I also quite like being around you—as well." At this point, I managed to look at him. I gulped. "But I don't, George. I don't fancy Fred. Even if I did, he has enough girls to fill the calendar year. He hasn't got time for Angelina, now, does he?"
George's expression was unreadable as he let me go and proceeding walking, his head staring forward. "You'd be surprised."
"At what, exactly?"
"Don't worry about it." He smiled up at me and it didn't catch his eyes.
"Well, let's get on. It's a bit cold out and I don't want to have to rescue you with my body heat. No matter how tempting." An honest smile spread across his face.
Our pace quickened. I was a bit reluctant, but it did regardless.
First task. Exciting, but not critical to my life as I'm not competing. However, the celebration after is something to—live for.
"Hey, Ang, take some of this." Fred handed me a cup that was smoking.
"Fred? What is this?" I took hold of it.
"Just drink." He placed it to my lips and forced it down.
"MY THROAT!" I coughed, the cup dropping out of my hands. "It's burning, Fred, burning."
"That's the point," he whispered in my ear.
The effect was almost instant and I was openly hot for Fred. It showed on my face as I bit my lip.
"That's what I thought." He grabbed my chin and brought my lips to meet his.
"In front of everyone, Fred?" I had pulled away.
My eyes were closed so I couldn't see. Not to mention the fact that the back of my head had no eyes and my face was occupied. If he was a dessert, I devoured it. I couldn't get enough and the fact that my inhibitions had been lost (not the first time in my life) in one instant hadn't been calculated into my mind. I didn't even know if it functioned besides the motor functions I needed for heavy snogging against the Common Room wall.
"You don't drink very often, do you?"
"What?" My eyes drifted open to see an empty Common Room and a dim fire.
"You don't drink," repeated unknown, familiar voice.
"I drink—everyday. Water, juice—of the pumpkin variety."
"I meant liquor, Angelina."
"You know my name." I grasped the face that was still fuzzy to me. "Hi."
"Let's get you to bed."
"But I've just slept for several hours! I've never been so well-rested!"
"Right, come on."
I was suddenly off of the cooshy surface and in the air, like flying with something underneath me, holding me.
"Come on," said Voice.
Voice ascended with my body up stairs and then fell, sliding back several feet and landing the both of us on the floor.
"I've forgotten about that. Well, looks like it's the couch for the both of us."
I was back on the couch, I suppose.
"Thanks, friend." I patted the face of my patron.
"I'll kill him." Voice sighed.
"Don't kill, that's bad."
"Just go to sleep, Ang."
"Ow." Pain shot through my head as I attempted to sit up from my bed. What had I done in my sleep? "Ouch, ow, oh goodness." I opened my eyes and they revealed the Common Room.
"AH! Oh, hell! George? What? You scared the—why am I on the couch? And why are you on the floor?"
George smiled. "Fred."
"That says enough. He'll be the death of me." I attempted to get up, but it only hurt my head more so I fell back on the couch.
"Come on." George lent me his hands and brought me off of the couch. I fell into him and he wrapped his arms around me. "Yeah, Fred. Nice."
"Ugh." I continued to clutch my head. Every part of me hurt and I had no idea why.
"You've got to get upstairs, Angelina."
"But it hurts, George. My head hurts really badly."
"I know. You've just been date raped."
"No, I'm kidding. Bad joke. It's just—Fred gave you something really strong and it tore you up instantly."
"You weren't raped, though. You would've said yes. By the looks of it, you did—you were practically shagging against the wall, Angelina. You are quite the feisty--"
"Save it." I put my hand over his mouth.
"Angelina! So good--"
I punched him in the stomach, Fred, that is. "You prat! I can't believe you!"
Everyone was returning from breakfast so there was a bit of an audience to see my killer punch.
Fred doubled over. "Damn, Love. Easy."
"No more than you deserve." I shoved him over so he was on the floor. My eyes wondered over everyone watching, curious how many of them saw me at my very worst. "Get up." I pulled him off up the floor and led him outside of the portrait hole.
"Did you have you go and do that?" He rubbed his stomach.
"I could ask you the same thing. What exactly were you planning on doing?"
He was at his full height now so I had to look up. He shrugged. "Thought you could handle a little something."
"Will you please tell me what happened? I woke up in the Common Room later—with only your lovely brother there to care for me. You were off doing—who knows what with who knows who!"
"Well, we snogged against the wall for a bit. Someone got a bit grabby." He wriggled his eyebrows. "Not me, of course." He laughed. "Let's see, that's it. I left after that. Don't know what you did."
"I loathe you, Fred Weasley. You got me pissed and left me to suffer!"
"Or to indulge?" His hands rose in question and I could slap the smirk off of his face.
"That was so classless."
"Who is worried about class with all the fun there is to be had? Come on." He grabbed my chin and brought my face up to look at him. "You can't complain, you needed to let go. As for that twin of mine, he's the one who suggested it in the first place, bloody wanker—always playing the good boy. He'll fool you if you let him." He tapped my nose in a playful, childish way.
I batted his hand away, shoved him and stamped back into the Common Room. I found George sitting in an armchair with Alicia on his lap, his arms resting on the back of the couch looking victorious. "You." I pointed at him.
"Me." He smiled, laughing a bit. "Yes?"
"Wait, when did this happen?" I pointed from Alicia to George and back.
"While you were passed out," Alicia sassed. I ought to knock the smirk off of her face. People are having their way with me today and I will not take it.
"Come with me." I pointed to George, then inched my finger back.
He got up from his seat, delicately moving Alicia and followed me to the corner of the Common Room. I just titled my head in question, he understood.
He shrugged, though. "I guess I don't know myself very well."
"What are you doing, George?"
He frowned, "I don't know, Angelina. Living?"
"Don't play with the girl."
"I told you—maybe I like her, all right? Leave it." His face showed anger, something that's rare with him.
"Since when do you talk to me like that?"
He shrugged. "Maybe since you—sorry." His face changed back to the sweet George, the one that was present that majority of the time. But the shift was strange, almost scary.
"No, say it, George."
He shrugged. "I think Alicia's calling me."
My face showed the hurt, the disappointment. "What the hell are you talking about? What is the topic of this conversation, George? Because you're on a different wavelength."
He shrugged, his face leaning closer to me. "Maybe you just don't see it."
I walked away from him.
"Ang--" He said it softly but I heard him. But I still didn't turn back.
I don't know why I was so frustrated at George right now, I just was. Not to mention—well, the good qualities I saw in George are now gone, because he's done something so stupid like court Alicia. How stupid is that? Incredibly. It's Alicia. Honestly, he doesn't like her. I saw it in his face that day, he's annoyed by her very presence. But why is it so agitating to me? Maybe I wouldn't be so peeved if he acted like a decent human being for once in his life, well, he has. But—he needs to continue. Because that last conversation really had me thrown off, really thrown off.
"Listen, I'm sorry."
"I was inappropriate with you the other day, Angelina, and I wanted you to know I'm sorry. It's just—nothing. But I do like Alicia, she's fun, like I said." George said it but it didn't sound like George. The words seemed fake. "I'm sorry, though."
"It's all right, George. It's really, really fine."
"No it's not." He sat beside me on the couch. I was reviewing some work, or pretending to while listening to conversations around me. "I was a real git about it all, I just—nothing. Sorry." He got up and went back to his sweetheart, Alicia Pathetic Spinnet.
Can he get out a complete thought?
Since the apology, I haven't spoken much to George than was needed.
Since the ass kicking, I haven't spoken much to Fred than was needed.
It's December now and I'm running out of friends.
Katie is the only stable one of us, and she's younger which means she understands little and follows the 'Smile and Nod' rule.
However, I've occupied my days with entertaining her babble about Lee Jordan and cosmetics. I, myself, have mastered the 'Smile and Nod' to a tee.
It's December now, wind and sleet have taken over the outside world so I'm stuck in the confinements of this castle—very restricted.