Hooray, my first romantic fanfic.
Disclaimer: As usual, everything is the property of J.K.Rowling.
Most of the family tree is kept as it is, with the exception of Catherine Weasley, because Molly or Lucy just weren't the right names.
"Remind me again why exactly do I talk to you?"
"I'm your cousin."
"Oh right. Sod off, will you please? He is not coming across the room to talk to me."
"Theri, in Merlin's name, no."
"Nope, can't hear you."
"Still can't hear you."
I spun around in my chair. Randall Roberts stood behind me, looking painfully handsome even in his uniform. Goodness, it really should be made an official crime for him to gel his hair. I felt sinful just looking at him. Merlin bless me, I hoped my ticket to heaven won't be denied because of this guy. Oh, here I go again. Of all things, he had made me forget that I was an atheist. I was in this hole much deeper than I thought.
"Er, ahem, I mean, yes?"
Rand Roberts was a fraction of an inch away from true paradise. His eyes seemed all different shades of blue at once. It really depended on the lighting and the angle of his face. Not that I purposely observed and took notes and sketched his face and carved his initials everywhere or anything like that. No, I just...well, let's just say I simply like to lay back and enjoy the view. His hair was a slightly curly mass of brown perfection, brightened with streaks of dirty blond here and there. Now, under the sunlight, that's a totally different business, but of course I wouldn't know that, seeing as I didn't stare.
"You sort of left your essay in Potions. You know, you were the class before me, and so I thought I would just…" his voice trailed off and he (out of godly kindness) gave me a small grin and handed me my small roll of parchment.
It took an extra second to register his words, the sound of his voice alone just—my potions essay?
"Oh, right, thanks," I quickly snatched the parchment out of his hands and turned around. I could feel him linger for a moment behind me before heading to the other corner of the common room.
"What was that about?" Theri inquired. Catherine Weasley, more commonly known as Theri, was the daughter of my Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey and was almost three months younger than me. I guess she's sort of my best friend, since we come from the same family and we're in the same house and the same dorm room and all. There were also Caitlyn Bristow and Haley Chiu, who were also in Gryffindor and shared our dormitory. I suppose we were a sort of quartet, but not in a super-tight, wax-enclosed, tiny circle sort of way.
"My potions paper," I said hoarsely. "I only got an E on it."
"Oh, Vic," sighed Caitlyn, hidden behind the armchair Theri was in. "I'm dreadfully sorry that Exceeds Expectations fell short of your expectations, my dear. Rest in peace, will you?"
"Shut up, what if he thinks I'm some thick moron of a girl, the classic persona of a blonde joke?"
"Merlin's hat, you're an O student and everyone knows it," Theri wailed.
"You're the prefect."
"Hel-lo, I'm the daughter of Percy Weasley. Are you going to sit there and torture me on that fact or let my father murder me?"
"Prefer the latter," a new, male voice interrupted.
"Ted, walk away before I make you wish you did."
Teddy Lupin was our Uncle Harry's godson, though he was pretty much part of the family. He, Theri and I spent the better part of our childhoods together, seeing as Ted's parents had both perished in the Last War and Uncle Harry, as well as every other member of the family, felt obliged to promise him a happy childhood. He was a metamorphmagus, though he currently held his spiky head neon blue and his eyes a light shade of brown. Some girls in my year find him highly attractive, as well as the year above me, and the one above that. To come to think of it, it would not be ridiculous to assume that the years below me enjoyed his looks and supposedly charming manners as well. Ted was, in short, the most popular and desired guy in Gryffindor house.
But let me tell you this, by the time Randall Roberts gets to his seventh year, he would be just that.
"You know you want me here. Or at least Vic does, because when I'm here, pretending I'm trying to get one of you to go out with me, she can get Rand to maybe feel jealous."
I stared at him. What a foul git he was. "First of all, I see no reason in the world why I would want him to feel that way, secondly he wouldn't, and last but not least," I paused for the effect. "If you really want to know, neither of us is interested."
Ted chuckled. "You sure?" He asked ridiculously playfully, reaching for a lock of my silver-blond hair and twirling it with his index finger, his cappuccino eyes flashing.
"Oh, stop that, unless you somehow desire vomit splashed down your robes. Go to bed already."
Ted laughed even louder. He let go of my hair, stood up, stretched, yawned, tipped his chin as a goodnight, and then climbed up the stairs to bed.
"The jerk knew that every pair of female eyes were on him while he was doing all of that," Theri mumbled. "Loathsome. You know, the boys look at you as much as girls look at him. You should honestly put that to your advantage, cousin."
I looked at her coldly.
"You know, I think I'll go to bed, too," Caitlyn announced. "You guys coming? Hale's still off somewhere, probably snogging that Davies in some secret corridor."
"Hear, hear. Be up in a minute," Theri replied. "Hey, Davies's dad's the one your mum went to the Yule Ball with, right?"
"Looking at his son, you can hardly blame her," I said. Peter Davies was a famous Ravenclaw sixth-year, the most renowned Ravenclaw I knew.
"True, well, coming? Or are you doing to kiss Rand goodnight beforehand?"
I glared at her, hard, flat, and hopefully not showing the smile that hid beneath my eyeballs. Oh dear, I think it's infiltrating my optic nerve. Time to look away. "No, but I just might go pull that whole, you know, blond hair blue eyed thing off for Patrick Weaver, if you don't mind."
Patrick and Theri had "fallen apart" a month ago. We both knew that she was not over him, though he was currently chatting in what he apparently deemed a charismatic manner with a honey-blonde a few yards away.
Theri rolled her eyes, mumbled what I should say would be the synonym of "unappreciative illegitimate child-of-a-dog narcissistic backside", and dragged me up to our dorm by the wrist. Boy, anger does make that girl three times stronger physically than she usually is. Forty minutes later, I realized that I had left my potions essay down in the common room again, and slid down there in a plain t-shirt and flannel pants that were my pajamas, hoping the crowd had ceased considerably. Climbing down the stairs as fast as I could with my fluffy slippers (it was November, there's my excuse) without falling flat on my face. My mother had once told me that though she knew people thought she simply glided around without touching ground, and that they feel the same way about me, even people with Veela blood can trip and look completely ungraceful while doing it. I was therefore watching my steps, and was unpleasantly surprised when I collided with a figure that was still uniformed in black robes.
Oh, scratch that. I was so, so, pleasantly surprised.
Hold on. Pajamas? So, so, so, so unpleasantly surprised.
"R-rand!" I choked on the beautiful name.
"Vicky, oh um, ha," believe it or not, we had the cliché trying to go around each other and not succeeding business going on.
"Well, I suppose, um," he took me by the shoulders (my arms were folded despite of myself) and turned me around successfully so I was a step below him. He looked so magnificently tall from down here, I feel like I could just—wait, focus. "Yeah, well, goodnight."
"Yeah, you too."
I continued my longest journey down the stairs yet.
"Wait, er, Victoire?"
And it was going to last even blissfully longer.
"I, well, kind of picked up your paper again," in his hands was the (dratted, dratted, dratted) piece of parchment I was looking for. I was so completely burning that thing the moment I—focus, focus.
"Oh, goodness," I said dumbly, and took the liberty of ascending a few steps so we were almost on the same step again. I started taking the (stupid, stupid, stupid) parchment out of his fingers, but found that our eyes had locked together. Oh my, could this really be happening? But of course, being me, I had accomplished the mission of taking my (damned, damned, damned) assignment out of his hands before anything particularly romantic had happened. I grinned, and he smiled, and we both tried to climb up the stairs at the exact same moment, which resulted in our bodies pressing amazingly close together.
I gulped, and then prayed my guts out that he hadn't noticed that I did. I looked into his blue eyes, they were dark blue by this light—which was hardly any—and realized a beat later than I should have that this was the perfect situation to land a kiss. Not that I was hoping it was going to happen, because I was most definitely not obsessed with Rand Roberts at all.
But then he had to lean in.
Before I knew it, the only thing crossing my mind was: who cares.
I noticed that my breathing became heavier, until I wasn't breathing at all, and that his arm was pressed against the wall behind me (how did it get there?), and that I could almost feel his lashes brushing against mine, and then somehow…
"So, in conclusion, it was the best thing that ever happened to me," I had finally finished in telling my long tale of my ten minutes trip of going halfway down the stairs and getting back up. "And he said, 'see you around', so that surely means, well, you know, that he wants to see me again, from which we could almost presume that, well…"
"He's completely crazy about you as well," said Caitlyn.
"He doesn't think you're a bad kisser at all," added Haley.
"And he wants to go out with you, hold you, love you, and ask you to be there for him for the rest of your lives," concluded Theri.
"No, definitely not," I began, then saw three pairs of eyes glaring at me. "Not the last part," I ended lamely. My three best friends beamed at me.
"We should celebrate," prompted Caitlyn.
"It's a Wednesday," argued Theri.
"Ooh, here comes the prefect, she's gonna get you!" taunted Haley. She shrieked and hopped off my bed as Theri launched herself at her playfully, and the two started playing an incredulously childish, comical, and wild game of chase around the dorm room.
"Oh, stop it, we should go to bed, it's twelve. I'm tired, and though I probably can't fall asleep, at least you three should. We've got Binns tomorrow, if you've forgotten."
This certainly put all of them to their rightful beds.
I woke with a start. Theri was shaking me rather violently while struggling into her school robe.
"Get on, you pig. Rise and shine."
I rubbed my eyes and yawned. This was not fair, I'd probably fallen asleep just three hours ago. I pulled open the rest of the draping around my bed and looked out the wide window. At first I thought there was not a bit of cloud in the sky, but then I realized that was because there was not a bit of the sky not covered by clouds.
"Sure is shining out there," I mumbled, sat up, and stretched. Theri left my bedside and went about taming the snakes of her bright red hair.
I managed to pull on my uniform and black robe, gather my books in my bag, and pinning up my hair (though I didn't have transfiguration, you could never know if McGonagall would wind up at the other end of the hallway) without tripping on my own disobedient feet or falling asleep on them. I wasn't much excited by the thought of breakfast; however, if that included a pillow…
"You're blocking the exit, Vic," Caitlyn assisted (pushed) me out of the way of the giant flow of Gryffindors attempting to climb out from the portrait hole. I stumbled slightly and had to lean on a pole in order to appear remotely awake as we waited for Heidi to come out.
"When exactly did you fall asleep last night?" Theri demanded, fingering the top of her head gingerly—she'd had to twist her hair into a tight bun in order to keep it together this morning.
"I don't know, but I don't think I fell asleep at night exactly," I replied, not bothering to stifle my yawn.
"Sorry, sorry, excuse me, morning, you all," Haley tumbled out of the portrait hole. She apparently hadn't had the time to stuff her books into her backpack: she tugged them under her arm, a whole eight bricks of volumes looking threateningly close to cascading right onto her toes. "Theri, you missed a few strands, no, no, more to the left. Caitlyn, your bag's open."
"You're one to talk," Caitlyn retorted, eyeing Haley's portable library under her arms.
Haley waved the comment away, and began shoving her books inside her bag.
The great hall was buzzing with noise by the time we got through the great double doors. We sat ourselves down (I immediately slumped over my plate) and began our breakfast rather hurriedly, for we were a bit behind schedule. I refused the food my friends offered me and persisted on attempting to grab some sleep before Herbology. Goodness know I would not wish to be half-asleep with a roomful of hostile and in many cases, venomous plants that were more like animals if you ask me. Professor Longbottom (Neville when back at home) was a jolly man, and would probably excuse me from a detention, but then again, I might get sprayed with some viscous substance or get bitten by a cranky tulip or lilac of some sort. No, much better to be awake and alert.
"Um, Victoire, could I have a word?"
My body automatically shot up, as I felt a bolt going through me, and I found myself looking up to Rand Roberts.
"Rand, what is it?" I was glad to discover that my speech wasn't penetrated with the usual "er"s and "oh"s as it usually is when I face him.
"Could I have a word…er…I meant…"
"Oh, right," I followed him out the great hall, leaving my remaining friends a nervous look. They all nodded encouragingly and simultaneously, like chipmunk triplets.
"So, I just wanted to, er," his blue eyes were shaded with embarrassment.
"Vic! There you are, come on—" There was a flash of blue, and Teddy Lupin had hooked my arm in his and was literally dragging me up the large staircase. Rand stood at the bottom of it, his eyes wide.
Ted turned around a corner, and turned again so swiftly that it gave me the impression he really had no idea where we were headed.
"Ted!" I shouted, shaking his arm off mine. "What in the name of Merlin's most sleek and shiny top hat was that all about? Couldn't you tell that it was not a good time? Do you possess any common sense at all?" I shrieked at him.
"Calm down or you might grow a beak and feathers," he taunted, backing off. Bloody hell, I hate it when he made fun of my ancestry. "It was for your own good, trust me."
"Why?" I folded my arms and glared down at him from my advantageous position at the top of the steps.
"Just…do," was the unsatisfactory reply. Before I could pursue this any further, he'd grabbed me by the shoulders and ordered, "Promise me you won't let Randall Rogers catch you alone today, I'll explain later. But right now, you're about to be late. Run along now."
With a start, I noticed he was right. Giving him one last look of confusion and resentment, I scampered off to the greenhouses. All this had certainly done the job of waking me up.
I arrived at Herbology mercifully right on time. Professor Longbottom gave me an amused look and walked up to the front of the greenhouse and began the introductions for today's lesson: a sort of Australian wild honeysuckle, whose leaves' fibers, when added to boiling water, can cure magicked sleep. Professor Longbottom explained the fibers they should look for, and the best way to preserve them. He then demonstrated a complex preservation spell and asked us to grab a partner and get started.
We fell into position with Theri as my usual partner by my side, and Caitlyn and Hale at their customary lab bench opposite us. "So tell us," Theri induced impatiently.
I described the series of events that occurred, and saw frowns that deepened on their faces as my little story progressed. "It seemed like Ted knew what Rand had to say, and didn't want me to hear it," I remarked under my breath, helping Theri pick out a thread from the leaf that was tiny even with the magnifying goggles.
"Or it's something you wouldn't want to hear," mused Haley.
"What could that be?"
"Maybe Ted's jealous?" Caitlyn suggested. There was a pause, and then all four of us started laughing at the idea.
"Maybe you can perform the new preservation spell we learned today for me, Miss Weasley," Professor Longbottom tapped Theri's shoulder.
"Oh. Yes, sir…Conservo Foliparticulus." A frail yellow mist drifted out from the tip of her wand.
"Not bad for a first try," said the Professor with a small shrug and a smile. "Your goal though, is to create a stronger flow of the mist—and to make sure that it's pinkish orange. Well, some others in the profession argue that it is the other way around, but either way." He wandered away to the next group, deep in his thoughts.
Theri was frowning slightly. "Conservo Foliparticulus." She voiced firmly. The mist this time did come in larger amounts, but it was still yellow.
"It says here…emphasis on 'fo' and extra-clear articulation of 't'," I offered, perusing through the textbook. I looked up at the sound of a strong puff of smoke rather than mist bursting out of Caitlyn's wand. I noticed with a start that, behind her shoulder, Rand Rogers was staring at me. Our eyes locked for one awkward moment, and we both looked away. He turned his attention back to his partner, Willis Steward, who had somehow managed to cover himself with turquoise powder, and I forced my eyes to dart back to my book, which looked a hundred times more inviting than before.
For some queer reason that I cannot explain, I followed Ted's wishes. When Professor Longbottom had finished assigning his ten-inch essay and Theri and I had replaced our equipments in their cabinets and turned in our plant fibers in their little preservation-charmed boxes, I hurried out of the greenhouse at top speed. I heard Rand call out my name as I scurried out the door, but for once in my life, didn't stop and turn around.
Ted had so better have a good reason for all this.
The day passed with much more being assigned to homework, discussing my future during class (Charms, the best class to talk for there are usually much shouting of spells, as well as occasional involvements of animals and students or Professor Flitwick being sent flying across the room), and avoiding Rand. By dinner, I was exhausted. I ate at top speed, wishing to retreat to the common room as soon as possible. Theri, Hale, and Caitlyn gawked at the speed of my eating, but wishing to extract juicy gossip from my current status, whatever that is, and their own homework load, followed suit. I was proud to say that all four of us were settled in our favorite corner in the common room by seven thirty in the evening.
We set about to our essays and spell-practicing, but soon were engaged in yet another conversation of Rand Rogers and Teddy's odd actions.
"Let's look at this in an analytical fashion," Theri said resolutely. "There can only be good news, or bad news. So Rand kissed you, which adds to good news. Ted grabs you away from him, more likely that point goes to bad news than not. Rand's been looking at you longingly and strangely for the whole day. Where does that take us?"
"I say good news," Caitlyn said. "He can't be that eager to spread bad news, can he?"
"Unless it's something so awful that his morality is making him struggle in keeping it away from Vic," Haley countered.
"Thanks, Hale," I moaned.
"Well, Vic, it can't be that bad. You're so beautiful that there are fan letters sent to our door every day."
I groaned. What she said was true. With more than enough inheritance from my mother, I often gave the impression that I was a Veela when one hadn't had a close look. "Well, it's not like—"
"Vic, there you are," Rand's voice drifted to my ears. "May I have a word?"
I jumped in shock, dripping ink all over my front. I cursed under my breath and parted my robes, annoyed to see that the ink had managed to go through the fabric and blot my gray vest, my gold-and-red Gryffindor tie, as well as my white shirt. Fantastic. "Oh. You know, now's not a great time."
"Please? I've been trying to talk to you all day…" his voiced trailed away.
"Oh, sorry, but I," I caught his magnificently blue eyes. "Er, well, make it quick, I suppose…" He led the way, and I gave my friends a helpless glance before following. We climbed out of the portrait hole and Rand turned to me.
"Listen, I—I'm really sorry about what happened last night. It shouldn't have happened, it was my fault. It was a huge mistake, I know."
Well, that changes things.
I tried to laugh, but my throat somehow reduced that to a whimper of a sort. "I've been dying to apologize," he continued. "The thing is, you're wonderful, and divinely beautiful, but I…I'm sort of, er, with Karishma Smith…the fourth year."
WHAT? The giggly girl, the daughter of Padma Patil and what's-his-face Smith, the one Uncle Ron told me to stay away from cause her father was a git?
"It was really recent," he hurried on, probably seeing my face fall. "You couldn't have known. I would love to be with you, you're the dream of a girl, but it's complicated with me…you'd have to wait. I don't know how long. I really like you," he added, as I started to turn away at his last sentence. "I really do, Victoire."
"But that's completely bullocks, Vic," Haley argued. "What are you thinking? When guys make promises like these, they never follow it! He's just going to go from girl to girl, moving from one excuse to another, and it's never going to be about you."
That was one stab in the heart. "You don't know that…"
"I agree with Hale, Vic. He doesn't sound convincing about this, you deserve to be better than a second," Caitlyn added.
There was the second stab. "But I'm not going to be…"
"Vic, get real. His whole speech proved that he's not going to make you anything official anytime soon. You're just going to be his pretty plaything, on the top of his display shelf, gathering dust!"
There went the third, massive stab.
"I understand your point…"
"What in Merlin's most warm and wooly socks were you thinking?" boomed a voice behind me.
"I heard already. Yeah, that's right, in the boy's dorm. He's just playing with you here, Victoire Weasley. Get to your senses already!"
"Will all of you listen! I'm not taking this seriously, okay?" I shouted, holding up both hands to stop their quibbling. "I just blanked out, is all. It's not like I'm perfect, I'm human." I directed the last part of my mini-speech towards Ted, then stormed up the stairs to bed.
I sure was tired enough for it.
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