Was I out of my head?
Was I out of my mind?
How could I have ever been so blind?
I was waiting for an invitation
It was hard to find
Don't matter what I say
Only what I do
I never mean to do bad things to you
So quiet but I finally woke up
If you're sad then it's time you spoke up, too
--Fastball, Out Of My Head
When Angelina walked into the library, she had to stifle a smile. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley were the only people in it. And they were ignoring each other. She could tell this because they were sitting on opposite sides of the room, yet glanced at each other every five seconds, abruptly looking down if the other seemed in danger of making eye contact.
Angelina marveled inwardly at how Hermione didn't stop writing for a moment. Her quill fairly flew across the scroll. She seemed to have a rhythm: read, glance at Ron, read again, and keep writing the whole time. It really was amazing what that girl could do.
Still, this had to be dealt with. Angelina stepped on tiptoe to whisper in Fred's ear. "I'll be right back. I need to talk with Hermione."
"But we're meeting Lee and George in five minutes," he objected.
"Then we'll be late." She looked pointedly from Hermione to Ron. "I need to give her some advice."
Fred surrendered with a grin. "What if she doesn't want it?"
"Bah. She's dealing with a Weasley. She needs all the help she can get."
"Hey! I resemble that remark," Fred protested as Angelina walked away.
"Oh, very clever, that," she said over her shoulder.
Fred sighed and plopped down next to Ron. "Thanks awfully."
Ron looked up from the page he'd been staring at for the past half hour. "What?" he asked, genuinely confused.
"I'm missing Hogsmeade because of you."
Fred jerked his head towards Angelina. "Thinks Hermione needs cheering up."
"That's not my fault."
Ron flushed. "Her cat is insane. It attacks my rat. She refuses to even acknowledge it!"
"Ron. Come on. It's just Scabbers."
"Look, Fred, he's mine, and she doesn't care. If Crookshanks attacked Hedwig, she'd fall all over herself apologizing to Harry. She'd make sure Crookshanks didn't get close to Hedwig. Why doesn't she care about Scabbers?"
Fred sighed and let Ron get back to surreptitiously watching Hermione.
Who was talking to Angelina.
"Excuse me, Hermione, but have you seen a Potions book? I think I might have left mine in here."
"Sorry, I haven't," she replied without looking up.
Angelina smiled and shrugged. "It's no big deal. I still have half the school to search." She sat down. "May I ask you something?"
Hermione glanced at the older girl. "I don't guarantee an answer." Her quill never stopped moving.
"Fair enough." She leaned in closer. "So why haven't you made it up with Ron yet?"
Hermione looked startled. Her hand froze mid-word as she stared at Angelina. "Er--what?" she finally asked.
"Well, you're not sitting on opposite sides of the library because it's so crowded," Angelina said dryly.
Hermione's eyes involuntarily darted over to Ron. "He, er, they think I don't care," she finally said. "And he--they don't listen to me when I try and explain."
Angelina barely smothered a smile, but managed to sound sympathetic. "Ah, yes, Weasley stubbornness." She leaned forward. "They have ample amounts of it, but I think their cluelessness is almost legendary," she confided.
Hermione couldn't help grinning a little. The quill slipped out of her hand. "What do you mean?"
Angelina started laughing.
Fred looked over at the sound. "I have this horrible feeling."
"What?" Ron asked shortly.
Fred shook his head sadly. "Don't ever be an idiot, Ron. Not only will she remember it, she'll take great joy in telling others about it."
"What d'you mean?"
A house's common room was supposed to be a place of relaxation. A place where those who were of that house could gather, goof off, unwind, ignore the world, if they so chose.
Apparently, no one let Quidditch captains in on that fact.
The portrait opened and a muddy figure came in. Three Gryffindors stiffened, then ducked, doing their best to look invisible.
It didn't work.
"Weasley! Johnson! Bell!"
Fred raised his head. "Yes, Oliver?" he asked casually, as if the captain of their team calling them out wasn't explanation enough.
"Practice," Wood declared.
The other two heads popped up at that. "What?" Katie exclaimed. "It's Saturday! It's raining and muddy!"
"Perfect training weather."
"We've things to do, you know," Angelina told him.
"Oh, laze about our common room, letting the other teams get the advantage?" Wood demanded. "If you've time to sit around in here, you've time to come practice. You'll notice Potter and Spinnet aren't here. If they don't want to practice--" a look of disbelief crossed his face "--then at least they do something more productive than what you all were." His face darkened. "Though I don't know what Weasley was thinking, getting himself detention. Let's go."
The team woefully made their way to the field, wincing when they walked out into the elements.
"Why'd we send Alicia for the chessmen?" Fred didn't bother to lower his voice. There was no chance of Wood being able to hear him over the wind. "Why didn't I go? Why didn't I go hide in the library like Harry does? Why didn't George and I get assigned detention on the same day? Why--"
"Give it up. It wouldn't matter," Angelina interrupted. "He's going to chase them down and make them practice, too." She scowled as the rain slapped her face. "Though no way they'll get anything as foul as today is."
Wood looked pleased as they assembled on the pitch. "Two Chasers, a Beater, and a Keeper. We can have a decent scrimmage."
The other three chose not to reply to that.
Wood opened the box and released a Bludger. Fred despondently climbed on his broom and followed it. Wood threw the Quaffle in the air and took his place in front of the rings as Angelina and Katie began throwing it around.
Fred knocked the Bludger away from Katie and Wood suddenly found himself on the ground. "Whoops! Sorry, Wood. Don't know how that happened," Fred said, very sincerely.
Wood looked up from the pile of mud he'd landed in. "I'm sure."
Angelina flew down. "Oliver, you've got to pay attention. I just scored. You can't be letting Hufflepuff get by that easily."
He glared at her. "Help Weasley. He appears to be having trouble directing his Bludgers."
Fred handed Angelina the other club. "That was perfect, Angelina. And you know that Bludger went exactly where it was supposed to," he added in an undertone.
Angelina grinned at him. "Thank you, I--I've never been a Beater," she said hastily when Wood looked their way.
"Just knock the ball around. I'll follow it around and hit it back to you. Don't worry about aim. It'll be good practice for me if it comes from unexpected angels."
He batted his eyes at her. "Are you sure?"
Angelina laughed, but at that moment, the Bludger came whizzing towards her, and she hit it with all her might.
Fred whistled. "Nice!" he called as he sped after it.
It wasn't until long after everyone else was ready to call it quits that Wood finally ended the practice. Angelina helped Fred wrestle the Bludger back into the box.
"You know," she said casually as he struggled with the lock, "I think I'll go down to Hogsmeade. At least I'll be safe from Oliver in the Three Broomsticks. Doesn't some warm Butterbeer sound good right now?"
Fred nodded. "Yeah, it does." He closed it with a click. "Well, better go find George. Have fun. See you later."
Ron's eyes widened. "You didn't," he breathed in near horror.
Fred nodded mournfully. "Oh, yes, I did."
"What did you do?" Hermione asked breathlessly.
Angelina looked very serious. "I put my broomstick down. I'd've broken it over his head otherwise."
Wood's voice sounded strange, like it was strained for some reason. "What?" Fred asked suspiciously.
"Come over here a minute."
Fred followed Wood to the other side of the field. Wood's shoulders were shaking. "See Angelina?"
"See how she's heading for Hogsmeade?"
"Is there a point to this?"
"Fred, Angelina wanted you to go with her to Hogsmeade." Wood was containing his laughter, but only just barely.
Fred looked surprised. "She did? Why didn't she just say so?"
"She did. Quite clearly." Wood turned serious; all laughter seemed to drain from him. "You mess up my best Chaser by breaking her heart...Hagrid still has pets, you know."
"No need to be like that, Wood," Fred said loftily. "I was thinking all on my own that I'd like to go to Hogsmeade."
"Good." They stood there a moment. "Well, what are you waiting for?"
"What did he threaten you with?" Ron asked, puzzled.
"Well, you see, the year before, I'd accidentally sprained George's wrist. His, you know, club wrist. Madam Pomfrey fixed it, of course, but Wood didn't want me to make that mistake again. He told Hagrid that I'd be happy to help him care for his pets." Fred shuddered. "And that was back when I was a second year. Who knows what else Hagrid's acquired?"
Ron nodded in emphatic agreement.
"Oy! Angelina!" he called.
She turned and waited for him to catch up. "Yes?" she said frostily.
He gulped. "Er, could I join you? At the Three Broomsticks, I mean."
"I thought you had to go find George."
"Uh...I'd, uh, I'd rather spend time with you?" he asked hopefully.
"You didn't fall for it!" Hermione wailed.
"Shh...and you wait until yours says it to you. I won't gloat over you--too much."
Angelina's eyes widened. "Oh," she said in a small voice. "All right, then."
He stepped aside as they reached the path. "After you."
"So what happened?" Hermione asked eagerly.
Angelina shrugged. "We went to Hogsmeade and came back." She looked over at Ron, then grinned at Hermione. "We were thirteen. What would you do?"
Hermione blushed a little. "Well--"
Fred suddenly appeared behind them. "Angelina, we're really late. Can we go yet?"
"A second." Angelina looked at Hermione. "Feeling better?"
Hermione looked at the way Fred casually rested his hands on Angelina's shoulders and the way that Angelina leaned back, against him, just slightly. They didn't even realize it. She smiled. "Yes, thank you."
Angelina stood up and passed Hermione her quill. "Anytime." She punched Fred lightly on the shoulder, who clutched at it in mock pain. "I mean it."
Hermione started her cycle again. "Thanks," she said, voice distant.
Angelina looked at her watch, then at Fred, who was nearly on the floor in his agony. "Goodness, Fred! We need to go! It's rude to keep people waiting." She rolled her eyes and headed for the door.
Fred sighed and picked himself off the ground. "Wait up!"
Thanks for taking the time to read! Hope you enjoyed it; either way, you should review and let me know. ;)