Redheads Are ICKY

Redheads Are ICKY!

Redheads are icky.

It's as plain and simple as that.

I mean, I don't get why everyone is always arse over tits for them, saying all this load of codswallop about how beautiful they are. They're not all that attractive. Sure, any randy bloke wouldn't mind a go at them, but any randy bloke wouldn't mind a go at pretty much anything that breathes, so that's not really saying much. And, then, they just go waltzing around like they own the place—the redheads, not the randy blokes, mind you—because everyone thinks they're all that when they're so not.

What's so special about them, anyway? My dad certainly fell for one, and, don't get me wrong, I love my mum dreadful and she's the coolest mum ever, but she's really rather distant. I wouldn't admit it in front of my mates, but it kinda hurt me when she stopped writing to me after second year. Not sure why even.

But it's not just my mum. Apparently both my grandmothers are redheads. Well, one is and the other was. And, then, pretty much everyone on my mum's side is redheaded. I guess that's what I get for being related to the Weasleys.

I swear, the majority of the female population in Hogwarts is redheaded, too, which certainly doesn't help matters when everyone already expects me to uphold the tradition of marrying a redheaded girl, despite my total lack of interest in them. Of course, a lot of these redheads are related to me, which actually makes me wonder if any of them truly aren't. But there are just so many of us in the Weasley-Potter clan that it seems like everyone's related to us. I think that about half my mates are dating at least one of my cousins. Even that bloody wanker sixth year Scorpius Malfoy is dating one of my cousins! I guess it's what we get for mating like a bunch of fucking rabbits. Grandma and Grandpa Weasley had seven children! Honestly!

Everyone in the family says that I look almost exactly like my dad did when he was my age and, thus, exactly the way his dad looked at my age. And they both married redheads. So I must end up marrying one, too. I hate it when they say that. I probably wouldn't be so animate about hating the bloody redheads if it weren't for all that damn chatter about how it's "destined to be." None of my relatives are bloody seers, so I can see how they might get a little confused, but calling it "destiny" is way beyond pushing the matter. Besides, it's none of their damn business who I marry or don't marry—that is, if I marry, because, right now, I'm not feeling particularly inclined to even think about it.

My eyes narrow at the very thought of it. And, yes, I know it's a childish grudge to bear. I know that everyone seems to think that I'll get over it, too. But I won't. I refuse. I've determined that redheads are gross, so I won't have anything to do with them.

A deep, frustrated sigh. "James, why in bloody hell are you glaring at me?"

Oops. "Um," I begin, allowing my eyes refocus on my best mate, "sorry. Distracted, you know?" Hopefully, she won't, you know, think I'm angry with her or anything.

"You really want me to dye my hair, don't you?" she says humorlessly.

At the thought, I can't help but examine her short, vibrant locks around her face. She's got them all kinky again. Yeah, like that's supposed to make a difference after we have practice tonight. Not to mention that that's the time that her hair looks its best. Even if it is red hair.

I shrug somewhat begrudgingly. "Maybe just a little," I can't help but admit.

She just rolls her eyes and says rudely, "Yeah, well, maybe you should get over it. Despising a third of the school doesn't make you all that great to hang out with, you know, especially when you're prejudiced against me. Besides the fact that it's my natural color and I don't intend to change from that, it's awfully presumptuous of you to assume I'm going to change it just for you."

See, and this is the other problem. Redheads are so… menstrual. I mean, a normal girl wouldn't care if I told them I don't like their hair. All right, that's a lie. A normal girl would probably ball her eyes out and then go change it. But a redhead—no, she has to be all high and mighty; she has to act like I'm insulting her instead of just her hair.

And normally Reid doesn't act like this. Normally, she's like any other girl (that's, you know, not redheaded). Well, actually, normally, she's like any of my other mates… which are all blokes, by the way. All right, so she may not exactly be the most feminine girl I've ever met, but that's probably why she's my best mate. I mean, girls are pretty damn weird.

"James!"

"Uh, sorry?" I try, but I don't think it's working so well.

She rolls her eyes again. "Oh, bollocks. You'll say that now and then go on with thinking the same damn thing over and over again without any incentive from me." Another sigh, and she sends me a small, somewhat apologizing smile. "Merlin, James, you'd think, with the way you look at me sometimes, that you hate me."

"I'm sorry," I say again, but this time I mean it. "It's just, um, a little difficult…"

"To see past the hair?"

"Er, yeah."

"Gods, you are so immature."

"Um, thank you?"

She laughs at that, but she still refuses to be amused when I'm being a prick. Can't really blame her, I guess… that is, if I were being a prick. Because I'm so not. You'd think she would have realized that because she's my best mate and all, but I guess she's still a girl underneath it all. I guess that's what it comes down to. But I think I should make sure.

"Hey, Reid, you're a girl, right?"

She turns on me without a second's time wasted. She's glaring at me, too, and her eyes are on fire. Oh, Merlin, what did I do to make her so feisty today? She's being entirely irrational. I'm just trying to make sure about something, and she goes off on one of those… you know, one of those menstrual things. PMS.

"Gee, Potter, I didn't realize how observant you are."

Uh-oh. She used the last name thing. That's bad. That means she's thoroughly pissed off. Honestly, though, I think she's overreacting a bit. I mean, I'm always observant. And it's not like her being a girl really changes much. I've always known she's a girl.

All right, fine, so maybe my wording could've been a bit better, but seriously!

"You know," she continued venomously, "it's really amazing. Sometimes, you're probably the sweetest person I've ever met, but, other times, you're just the same old prick every other bloke in this school is. If you think I haven't noticed how very menstrual you think every girl in the entire world is, you should look in a fucking mirror, because you're pretty damn menstrual yourself." With that, she jumped to her feet and stormed up the girls' staircase, shouting, "And don't you dare follow me, you prat," over her shoulder.

All right, what the bloody hell was that? I mean, she went totally berserk. I know I can be a prick sometimes, but that was totally out of line on her part. It's not like I was being any different than normal, anyway, so I don't get her. She acts like I've done something absolutely horrible, but I've barely done anything at all. Maybe Reid's just as crazy as the rest of them. Maybe she's like a real girl somewhere in there. Not like Pinocchio real, just, you know, a girl.

Oh, Merlin, that's a scary notion.

But, honestly, she is a girl, so I guess it's not all that scary that she acts like one every once in a while, but it's still a little frustrating. I don't really like Reid that much when she acts like a girl. It's just weird. I mean, I'm so used to her just being… her, who she is, Reid. Although, come to think of it, I'm not sure if I even know her first name. No-one ever calls her that, not even Headmistress McGonagall when she's being all I'll-call-you-by-your-first-name-because-I've-decided-to-be-nice-to-you-right-now. She's just Reid.

Confused, I stand up and move over to the other side of the table, where she had been sitting, her papers spread all over that side of the table. On the largest piece of parchment, where she's been writing her latest Advanced Potions essay, I find her name scrawled in the top right corner: Calliope Reid. Heh, no wonder she just goes by Reid. I certainly would, too. I mean, who wants to go by Calliope?

Okay, James, I think we have a serious problem, my more sane side tells me. Your best mate is totally pissed off at you. With pretty good reason, I might add. So this is the point where you get up off your fat arse, follow her up there despite the fact that she told you specifically not to, and pour your measly little heart into her hands, which she'll probably smash in all her anger, but you deserve it, so it's not like it'd be such a terrible thing, anyway.

No, I don't like this idea. It sounds painful. Besides, she did tell me not to go up there, and you've got to be stupid to think that I'm going to disobey Reid when she gives me a direct order. It doesn't happen very often, but she's really scary.

Oh, what crap is this?! You're going to be a coward, aren't you? Because, if you are, I'm not sure I want to be around you anymore.

What the bloody hell does that mean? I mean, it's not like you could ever possibly leave me. That's just physically impossible. You are me, aren't you?

Grumbles. Not by choice.

Okay, I get it. Seriously. Stop looking at me like I'm lying, 'cause I'm so not. I understand what you're trying to tell me. To an extent. But there is absolutely no way I'm going up there when she's angry. Despite the fact that she told me not to, and the fact that she's fucking scary, I can't get up there.

Oh, that's just a lazy excuse. You have a broomstick, you retard.

All right, the calling-me-names thing is really getting on my nerves. I'm not a retard or a coward, so just stop it.

Well, you obviously are. I mean, I—me, you—wouldn't be calling you this if you weren't already thinking it. It's your own fault. I'm just your cowardly way of telling yourself to go up there and apologize. She definitely deserves it.

Oh, shut up already!

When nothing responds, I'm a little confused.

Wait, what, it actually worked?

Um, well, anyway. Back to something more important. …Except nothing comes to mind. Was I supposed to be doing something?

Apologizing.

Oh, dammit. I hate you.

Fine, be that way. Just hate yourself. I'm perfectly all right with that—as long as you go up there and apologize to her.

Shut up, I snap, though a little less fervently than before, and, huffing, I finally give in. Fine, I'll do it, but only because it makes you shut up.

With a humph!, I push myself to my feet and move toward the girls' staircase, where my best mate had just ascended only moments ago. I know I should apologize. Sure, I'm not quite positive as to why, but I know that I should and that she'd appreciate it if I did. She probably won't like the fact that I don't know why—girls are just like that—but I think she'll get over it. Besides, just the apology should account for something, though, right?

Looking up from my shuffling feet to the staircase in question, I stop in my tracks. What is Reid doing standing there at the bottom? Is she waiting for me? And, more importantly, didn't she just storm up there? I mean, I saw her tromp all the way to her room. Um, I don't get it.

At the confused look on my face (well, I can only assume), she begins to laugh. She seems to be a lot merrier than she was about a minute ago. Bloody wench. I'm planning on apologizing here, and she's mocking me. Pfft, I don't think I will at all anymore. Although, I must admit that I'm a little glad I don't have to go get my broom from the Quidditch shed and fly up to her room, because I'm not sure if I'd be able to find it and it's cold out there. I don't like the cold.

"What're you laughing at?" I snap angrily.

She starts to laugh more.

Glaring, "You're mean, Reid," I pout, my anger slowly giving way to hurt. "I don't know what you're laughing about, but I don't like it. If I'm such a prat, what's so goddamn funny, huh?" At my words, she sobers a little, thank Merlin. I don't like it when she's so mean to me. But I know she loves it. She loves to be mean to me.

I don't get it.

And I know that there are a lot of things I don't get. But, discounting the love for redheaded people, why Rosie is practically shagging a Malfoy, and how someone could have the stamina to have seven kids, Reid is the most confusing thing I've ever encountered in all seventeen years of my life.

"You," she says, grinning now. Definitely menstrual, because that's quite a mood swing from how she was acting less than five minutes ago. And, then, she seems to remember why she's down here again so soon and huffs. "I've been waiting for you. I waited for practically ten minutes. I thought maybe you were mad at me, then, so I come down here to apologize, and I find you staring at my essay with this really weird look on your face, concentrating really hard. I've got no idea what's so interesting about the uses for goat urine, but I'd absolutely love to be enlightened."

Ah, bollocks. Goat urine? That's what I was staring at? That's so not fair. I mean, really, goat urine?!—Wait! "Practically ten minutes?" I shout at her, and she flinches. Oops. I didn't mean to be that loud, but ten minutes?! "I was staring at goat urine for ten minutes?!"

She laughs again.

Oh, great. Some maturity, she has. "I feel totally assured by this show of compassion for my horrorstrickenness," I say sarcastically, somewhat childishly.

"That's not a word, James, but you can get a few points for trying," she says, shrugging her shoulders as her laughter subsides. She slowly makes her way away from the staircase and meets me in the middle of the common room where I had stopped earlier. "Why didn't you come up?" she asks somewhat accusingly.

"I, um, uh, I just, er," I try, but it's not coming out right. I can't speak, but apparently that makes her smile, so I stop and just smile back. Her smiles are infectious. I hate her for it.

And, then, she leans forward and plants a big, wet one on my cheek, and, before I know it, she's already saying, "You're sweet, James, even when you're being a prick. And, apart from the redhead-bashing fetish you have, you're a pretty open guy. And you may act like quite a girl yourself sometimes, but anyone who thinks you're a poof—and may I remind you that quite a few people do—doesn't know you well enough."

She takes my hand, still smiling that infectious smile, looking at me like I'm the only person in the room (which, by the way, I am the only person in the room, aside from her, of course), and she continues. "Besides, you're awfully cute when you pout. Or when you scowl. Or pretty much any time. And, of course, you're totally clueless." And, without any warning, she kisses me, this time on the lips.

But, wait a minute, I'm still stuck on the first one. The one that didn't do anything. And I really have absolutely no idea what she's talking about. I mean, all I hear is weird fluffy stuff about some guy she obviously fancies and, then, BAMF! she's kissing me. And the world doesn't make any sense anymore.

I think there's something wrong with my head, in fact. I mean, first there's the thing where there are two arguing voices inside my head and now THIS! Yeah, I think I'm going crazy. The world where Calliope Reid kisses me is the world where I'm worshipping redheads and Rose and Scorpius Malfoy get married. It's just stuff that's never going to happen.

And, in theory, once I realize that this is all in my head or a dream or whatever, shouldn't I be snapping out of it? Maybe someone should pinch me. Who knows, it could help. I really have no idea, though, because this has never happened to me.

But, hey, if it's all in my head, why not indulge? It's not like there's any way I'm ever going to be kissing Reid—my best mate, may I remind you—in real life, so what's it going to hurt? Besides, despite the red hair, she's really quite beautiful, and she's got a great body, what with all the Quidditch and everything.

So, just as I'm finally responding to her kiss, Reid pulls away from me, her lips parted, her face flushed, and, might I add, she's looking rather buxom right now. Yes, this is definitely not real. I hope it's a dream, though, so that I'm not crazy. But I wouldn't really mind if I were crazy because, honestly, the more I look at her, the more I want to toss her over my shoulder and take her up to my bed to have my dirty, hormonal-boy way with her. And, if a dream or craziness is the only two ways that's ever going to happen, then I'll take it. It's never going to happen in reality, and, to tell the truth, even with all that actually rather pretty red hair of hers, I've always rather had a thing for her.

She's looking at me like she doesn't know what to make of me, like she's not sure she should have done that, like she's worried about our friendship or some other nonsense. It doesn't really matter at this point, though, because I fully plan on taking advantage of this dreamscape, thank you very much.

And, without further ado, I squeeze the hand I'm still holding and lead her away from the girls' staircase toward the boys' and up to the seventh year dormitory at the top. It's rather late, honestly, so most of the other boys are in bed, even if they're not asleep, so I shush her quietly to make sure she doesn't say anything and we are quickly approaching my bed.

If she doesn't realize my intentions, then dream-Reid is must stupider than reality-Reid, but reality-Reid would definitely have figured it out as soon as we took two steps toward the boys' staircase. Of course, reality-Reid probably would have slapped me really hard at that point, but that's entirely beside the point. Because this Reid seems a little bit eager as I cast the Silencing Charm on my four-poster. Eager enough, in fact, to take the dominant position after I'm done with the charm, pushing me down on my bed without the least bit of warning, getting on top of me, and closing the curtains after her.

Oh, damn, this is a good dream.

In fact, after it's all over, I determine that this is the best dream I've ever had in my entire life, all other sex dreams included—in fact, all sex included, this is the best shag ever. Not that I've had a ton-load of experience, but I've had my fair share, and, reality or not, Reid is the best.

And, as I glance over at her, I can't help but smile and tell her so, the reality-or-not part included. Which was probably my mistake, because she doesn't seem too fond of that part of the sentence. So not fond that she sits up, not bothering to cover herself up so that she looks 'decent' (excellent tits, by the way), and slaps me.

Now, here's the point that really gets me: If she slaps me, shouldn't that be enough to wake me up? Or is pinching really the only way? because I'm not so fond of staying in a dreamscape where my best mate (and best shag) slaps me, especially if this is going to be a repeated occurrence. Plus, she looks absolutely livid.

"Reality or not?" she screams at me.

Ow, my ears.

"What the bloody hell does that mean, you prick?!"

Uh-oh, I'm a prick again. This is bad.

"Please wake up, please wake up, please wake up," I quietly beg myself, shutting my eyes so tight that it hurts. Maybe if I wake up, I'll be able to just carry on a normal life. Hah, yeah right! After seeing even a dream-Reid naked, I don't think I'll ever be able to look at her again without thinking about it. But how could I possibly have turned down a totally willing dream-participant? I mean, just look at her there. Just thinking about it… Merlin, I think I'm drooling right now.

Wait, no, she's still screaming at me, more of a shrieking now. Oops. She tends to get angrier whenever I don't listen to her. Bad idea.

I force my eyes open again, but all I see is the sunlight shining in through my slightly parted crimson curtains. I silently, urgently, search for any remnants of Reid, but all I see is, um, it's personal. Er, yeah, I think I really need to take a cold shower. Right away.

So I jump out of bed, barely noticing that my stupid alarm clock (which really sounds nothing like Reid screaming at me for doing something prickish) is still blaring at me, immediately happy to see that none of my mates are up yet, and run into the bathroom for a very long cold shower. And, afterwards, I feel quite refreshed, ready to start the day. Even if I'm dreadfully disappointed that it really was a dream. No matter how many times I told myself that it was, I'm still so disappointed.

And, as predicted, the moment I see Reid in the Great Hall, sitting at the Gryffindor table, all I can do is picture the dream-Reid naked and on top of me. Oh, Merlin, I'm not sure if there's any way to make it go away, and, even if there were, I don't know if I'd want it to go away.

I approach her and her one girl friend, Lacey, another female member of the Quidditch team but definitely much more girly than Reid, as slowly as I can without looking like an utter coward. Which I am, by the way, if you hadn't noticed. "Er, g'morning," I say nervously, sitting down across from the two girls.

They both look up at me, and, after sharing a conspiratorial glance with Lacey (yes, I noticed!), she grins. "Good morning, James," she says, her smile still as infectious as ever, "how did you sleep?"

I hesitate a moment. I hadn't prepared for this question. No, what do I say? The truth? Lies? Does she know? Was it all really a dream?! "Um, I slept well," I settle for, trying to sound as calm as I really don't feel. But I can't help the grin that forms on my face. "Very well," I have to add.

"That's good," she responds, and she appears just as normal as ever.

Maybe I'm paranoid now.

"Well," she said, grabbing another croissant as she stands, "Lacey and I have some homework to catch up on, so we're going to the library."

Beside her, Lacey stands up as well, gathers her books, and begins to move away from the table. "I'll meet you there, I need to use the loo," she explained and was off before either of us even really realizes it.

Reid smiles at her friend's retreating form before turning back to me and continuing with what she had been saying. "So I'll see you in class, all right?" She stuffs half of the pastry in her mouth and pulls her book bag up and over her shoulder. After sending me one last (infectious) smile, she's on her way, following Lacey slowly. Oh, but she turns and says rather loudly to me, still walking, "Last night was wonderful, by the way."

Wait, what?!

What the hell does that mean? Did we actually shag? Was the argument the only part of the dream? Or was it all a dream? Am I just paranoid? Merlin, I really just hope it's paranoia, because I can't stand all this damn confusion. What in the Grey Lady's bloody knickers is going on here, anyway? I think I'm crazy. Do you think I'm crazy? because I seriously think I'm going crazy.

But it's too late to scream at her to explain herself because she's already gone.

Right, the library!

Without having a single thing to eat, I get up and run after her, barely making it around the end of the table without falling over. But I don't slow down. I can't slow down. I have to know. She has to tell me. If she doesn't, I'll just go crazy all over again.

But, just as I make it out of the Great Hall, I hear the sound her voice and force myself to stop, barely about to do so without falling over. I grab onto the side of the large doors leading into the Hall to do so, and it thankfully saves me. Luckily, I haven't made too much noise, because Reid's still talking like she hasn't been disturbed at all. And, as my breathing gradually calms down, I begin to be able to understand her words.

"It went perfect, Lace," she's saying. "I mean, I thought it would be funny when you came up with it, but the look on his face was perfect."

Lacey laughs. "Ah," she replies somewhat nostalgically, "getting revenge on your best mate for having a randy dream about you—always fun." Reid doesn't make a response, so I don't know what her reaction is, but Lacey's words say it all. "Aw, look at those cute flushed cheeks. Was hearing him moan your name this morning that effective? I mean, seriously, you just wanted to talk, and that's what you get. It still amazes me. And I have to say that I'm impressed that it takes a dream to get you to realize that you've fancied him forever."

"Oh, shut up," Reid says rather meekly.

But Lacey doesn't. She just continues. "You can't tell me that seeing him like that, moaning your name, all hot and bothered, probably touching himself in ways that you were in his dream, didn't make you want to jump his bones. I know it did. All I have to do is look at you and I can tell. Playing with his mind is just the really fun part of it all—well, the only fun I'll get out of it. You go back and tell him you've got the hots for him, and you'll be having a lot more fun than me and that stupid joke you just pulled. Probably more fun than I had with his brother the other night, too, considering all your sexual tension. Not that Al wasn't good because he definitely was, but, seriously, you've got to tell him."

My heart's still racing, probably not from the run anymore, and I can't stop grinning like an idiot. It was a dream, but she still fancies me in reality, too. It's perfect. Well, not the part about my brother shagging anyone, least of all Lacey Thomas, who is also a very good friend of mine, but that's not nearly as important as the fact that Reid fancies me.

Taking a deep breath, confident as I could possibly be, I force myself to walk around the corner, where the two girls are standing, and my eyes light up at the very sight of her, blushing profusely because of her friend's words, beautiful as ever. "Hullo," I proclaim dramatically. "Oh, I thought you two were going to the library."

"We are," Reid says immediately, turning away from me and taking hold of Lacey's arm, who bursts out laughing at the sight of her.

"Oh, but you don't appear to be in a hurry, now do you?" I say nonchalantly, striding up to her and taking her free hand in my own. "Say, Reid, do you mind having a word alone with me?"

Lacey slowly pries herself away from my girlfriend. All right, not yet, but it's bound to happen, you know, within the next five minutes or so. "I'll meet you in the library, Reid," she grins, bounding away. We can barely hear her voice calling back as she ascends the grand staircase, "Have fun making lots of babies together! More people related to the Weasleys is really what we need." She's right, of course, but I can have as many babies with Reid as I want to.

I look back at my darling without a second thought, but she's still avoiding looking at me. That's all right. She's a little nervous because she gathers that I was listening to their conversation, which I'll freely admit to if she ever asks. "So," I begin, a rather devious smirk in place, "when we get married, can I still call you Reid? because I'm really not a big fan of calling you anything else, and your first name isn't all that catchy."

She laughs. Excellent. Exactly what I wanted. And she finally turns to look at me, her cheeks still tinged pink, but she doesn't seem that embarrassed anymore. "I guess so. I don't think I'd be comfortable with anything else." Ah, that beautiful infectious smile. I love it.

Beaming, I tug her into a hug, pulling her as close as possible, and she doesn't resist. I'm in such a good mood, in fact, that I don't care that I'm nuzzling my face into the most beautiful hair I've ever seen in my entire life—beautiful hair that's entire red and all natural and never going to change and I really wouldn't want it to.

Besides, it's not like all redheads are all that icky. I mean, Reid certainly isn't, so there's got to be some sort of hope for every other redheaded person in the world. Ah, but, even if there weren't, I still wouldn't care. Reid'll always be beautiful, no matter what.