Evasive Techniques

(night before)

"Ok" I slurred, finally abandoning all attempts of walking and allowing Fred's strong arms to wrap around my waist and pull me up the icy path. I giggled as I slipped over, again, and fell into him.
"Christ, Angie" he said, shaking his head in disbelief. "How much did you drink? I've never seen you this pissed!"
I scoffed loudly.
"You've never seen me pissed full stop!" I
really should have stopped talking there. "You're too busy with that Lucy, or Linda or Louisa or....what's-her-name?"
Fred was staring at me oddly. "Natalie?"
"Tha's the one!" I yelled victoriously, raising my fist in triumph and nearly taking Fred's eye out. "Whoa. yeah. Miss open-24/7-motel legs. Ha-ha. Slag" I spat, bitterly and condemnatory, though the effect was somewhat ruined by my garbled speech and inability to remain upright.

-x-

See, this is exactly why I try never to drink. I can't control the words that stupidly fall off my tongue when it comes into contact with liquor. Stupid party. Stupid Hogshead serving me drinks even though I'm only 16. Oh no wait, I'm 17 now. My fault. Stupid Ang. Stupid.

-x-

"And it's not just her, is it, either? NO! Not one girl for 'Casanova-Freddy'. He's got ALL those girls. Lots of girls. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots. But never me. Not me."

It was only at that point that I noticed we were no longer walking- "HEY!!!"I yelled furiously, in inebriated incoherency. The echo of my shout, reverberating around the isolated path that was shrouded by intense darkness, startled me greatly and I whirled around in alarm. Naturally, since Fred's arms were still around me, that caused a bit of a problem and I fell backwards into a tree, pulling him with me as I went.

"Ooof" Fred's weight, crashing on top of me, winded me slightly, and I hit my head on the trunk of the blasted tree. To support himself, Fred had thrown his arms out and consequently was leaning over me, pressed up terrifyingly close.

I inhaled sharply, even in my horrifically drunken state I knew this was a dangerous situation for me to be in, and I had every intent of telling him to piss off and push him away. Unfortunately, my brain seemed to have melted on the spot and my mouth couldn't function, nor could my hands be prised away from my sides.
Paralysed, I stood there panting –desperately trying to fill my lungs with the air they seemed to be lacking - and watched in fear as a smirk began to play across his lips.

"I didn't think you cared who I dated, Angel" he grinned. I couldn't be sure if it was intentional or not, but his arms shifted slightly and his body was suddenly at a much closer proximity than before. I bit my lip to stop myself from saying something irredeemably stupid.

"Aaaangggeeeelliiiiiinaaa. You're not answering me. Please talk to me" I bit my lip even harder to prevent myself from giving into his pleas. At least it didn't hurt, my mouth had turned numb from the large quantity of alcohol it had received.
A sober-me might have been able to deflect the awkwardness by saying 'there was no question asked to be answered' and marching off before anything else could be said. However, considering the magnitude of trouble I'd already landed myself in because of my stupidly huge gob, I was not going to risk saying any more crap.

"Fine, then Angel" he grinned, pure evil dripping off every syllable "I don't mind waiting." He shifted his weight again so that momentarily he was completely pushed up against me with no air between us and then pulled away, legs either side of mine, but not actually touching. "I actually happen to be incredibly comfortable."
Involuntarily I hissed in frustration, which seemed to amuse him greatly.

I figured that he'd grow bored and leave, but 5 minutes later and I was still confined to the little space between the tree and his arms.
"Why are you doing this?" I whined.
"Because, poppet, you're drunk. And I find your drunken humiliation to be fascinating." That cheeky grin he shot me did nothing to ease the sound of my heart pounding like a drum in my ears. His eyes sparkled mischievously "Hey. You know there were others at the party. What are they gonna think when they walk up here and see this?"

My cheeks went quite warm and I moaned in annoyance "FRED!" Unfortunately, it was only afterwards that I realised how that sounded (admittedly quite lustful.)

"Yeah, that'll help, Angel" he winked impishly.

"Fred, please" I know. I know. Just as bad. I could have hit myself. But I wasn't thinking anything through until after it had already left my mouth. Stupid, stupid Ang!

"I think you're trying to turn me on, Fallen Angel" Fred grinned, and I glared at him and tried to shove him off. "Hey now" he continued "please don't stop on my account. I was enjoying myself."
This time I really did shove him. Quite hard. And he laughed and moved his arms.

As it transpires, this wasn't actually as great a thing as I thought it would be, because after my very brief feeling of elation and freedom, I remembered why I needed him in the first place. The whole path swirled around and then the dirt track that I could have sworn seconds earlier had been planted firmly under my feet was suddenly rather close to my head.

"Shit, Angel."
A hand grabbed me right before I sustained a sizeable head injury. It was aggravating, because if he continued helping me like this then I would find it harder to stay angry and keep my mouth shut.
He was holding me up, but there was no mischief in his face anymore, just concern, and that completely knocked me for six.
"Maybe you should sit down for a bit, Angel."
He pushed me down onto the floor into a sitting position, but I lolled back unintentionally. Deciding to make it look deliberate I remained lying like that for a while until a vital thought that I was foolish to overlook until that point swam through my mind amid all the rubbish in there, and I gasped.

"My dress'll get all dirty!" I complained, my eyes widening comically in dismay.

"Let it" shrugged Fred, "better than it being covered in your blood, Angel"

"NO, NO, NO. You don't UNDERSTAND" I was waving my arms about in over-exaggerated movements "This is Aloosh....lesh....lish....Alicia's! This is Alicia's. And stop doing that!"

"I'll explain it to Alicia alright. She'll understand. You were out with my charming self at night after a party somehow you ended up lying on your back. Trust me, it happens Angel. And stop doing what?"

"THAT! Just stop."

"Making dirty jokes?"

"Calling me 'angel'?"

His eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"You don't like it?" he asked.

"No. I love it, Fred. That's why you've got to STOP. Shush."

He lay down next to me and propped himself up on one elbow to stare me in the eye, looking confused.
"Well..." I continued.

NO!

STOP TALKING

"I like it. I like it a lot. Actually, Fred, I like everything about you a lot-"

STOP IT.
STOP IT NOW, YOU STUPID, STUPID GIRL.
I MEAN IT, RIGHT NOW.
JUST. STOP. TALKING.

"-But you don't like me a lot so liking you a lot makes me not like liking you a lot. And I have to see you all the time and you can't know so I don't say even though I want to. I just want to... I just...I just want..."

I trailed off not knowing what words to say next.

Fred was leaning in to me.
"Just want what?"
I wasn't paying attention to anything apart from his lips.
My dress, well Alicia's dress, was filthy.
The freezing wind was blowing and I was aware that I'd soon have icicles for hair.
It was about 1am and I had double potions, transfiguration and DADA that day-the three most formidable and austere professors.
But all I was focusing on was his beautiful mouth.
"I just want...just want to do...do this"

Hesitantly placing both my hands on his shoulder, I pulled myself closer to him and then ran one finger down the side of his cheek before cupping his face and moving in for a kiss. It was a little while before he responded and started kissing me back. I was thrilled. It felt like that was what I should be doing all the time.
"Ah, Ang" he said, pulling away and instinctively I knew I didn't want to hear his next words "I don't think we should be doing this, Angel-"

I should have let it drop. I so should have let it drop. No need to get worked up, Angie, no need at all.

"Oh! So it's all very well to make jokes and rub up against me, but God knows I only come second to that slag Natalie" I yelled angrily.
"Angel." He said, shaking her head " It's not like that, you're drunk. I mean, c'mon, neither of us wants to risk our friendship for a drunken mistake."

I choked on a sob.

"Look, Angel. You know you're my bestest most favouritist person in the world." He grinned cheekily "You're sweet" he stroked my hair "and you're smart" and rubbed my cheek "and you're so tempting that a very large part of my brain is telling me to shut up" he joked with a wink "but I can't forget that I'm going out with Natalie. I like her and she likes me. This" -he said gesturing between the two of us –"is all just due to the fact that you drank your body weight in firewhisky."

He's right Angie. He's totally right. Just nod and let him walk you back up to the castle. Whatever you do don't say what you're thinking.

"The thing is though, Fred Weasley" I mumbled as my eye-lids starting getting increasingly heavier with every blink "I don't think it is. You think it's because I'm effing hammered. Well I think I bloody love you."

And then I blacked out.
-x-