For Lillylover22. Thanks to this user, Keep Away finally reached 1,000 reviews! Thank you all for your continued support! That really made my week!
LAST TIME: GeoKat snogged each others faces off. The usual.
Within a matter of hours, the amount of groping done by Katie and George could have easily equaled that of Fred and Angelina. It was disturbing, really, but the rest of us in the Weasley cottage pretended not to take any notice. When really we kept looking over to make sure they weren’t outright doing it with us in the room. Fred looked troubled. I figured it was because he was jealous Angelina wasn’t giggling like that. My friends were so strange.
The boys left a little after two in the morning and I heard Lee in the distance swear because he stubbed his toe on something. Alicia snickered, throwing another log on the fire and crawled back into the bed above mine.
“That was an eventful day,” she said, her hair hanging over the side of the bed. I knew she was staring at Katie who was perched on the sofa painting her toes.
“Sure was,” she said, unable to hide her cheeky grin.
I grabbed the quilt on my bed and pulled it up to my waist, instantly regretting it because it was summer and damn hot in there with the fire going. I wondered why it was. Probably for a cozy feeling. I felt cozy, hot, and sweaty. That would be attractive when I woke up.
“So are you going to get back together?” Alicia said after all of zero seconds.
Katie’s eyes widened. “How about,” she said, “we just take things one step at a time, hmm?”
“Okay,” Alicia said, tossing a pillow down. Katie moved her toes just in time. “Step one was to snog him senseless. Step two was to have a grope-fest in front of all of your friends. Step three is get back together before I hit on him myself. He’s got some hands on him, that George Weasley.”
“Hit on him and get hexed,” Katie replied through gritted teeth and looked over her shoulder at Angelina, who was reading a novel in her own bed. “What about you, Ang? Want to trade in your model for a better one?”
“And give up the boy who bites me over muffins?” she mumbled, flipping a page. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Maybe I’ll trade in Oliver for Fred,” I said, laughing and kicking the quilt all the way off the bed. “Maybe I have a ginger thing. I’ll have to test that out.”
Angelina’s look was a cross between shock, anger, and the hint that she was pondering it.
“I want to! Me! Me!” Alicia’s face appeared, her hair dangling even further. “At least for one night. C’mon, Jane, let’s do a trade! Lee would be up for it. Because I will tell him he’s up for it.”
I chuckled and took off my t-shirt so I was only wearing a tank. Bloody sweating. “I’m not sure Oliver would be as enthusiastic about it.”
“Just throw more lipgloss at him,” she said. “He’ll make you brownies and then you can tell him I get a snog.”
“Just a snog?” I raised a perplexed brow, reaching up and pinching her cheek.
“A Katie/George snog,” Alicia corrected. “I want one of those. I bet your back has scratch marks, huh, Katie?”
Katie didn’t reply, but the scarlet color of her face reminded me of the hangings in Gryffindor Tower.
“I’ll be sure to talk to Oliver about it, yeah?”
“Thanks, Jane. You’re lovely.” Alicia retreated to her bed and it squeaked a little while she was getting comfortable. “Can someone fucking put that fire out? George the fire-master started it and I have no idea why. I feel like I’m in a sauna. On second thought, keep it. We need a sauna. Let’s tell Mrs. Weasley.”
Katie’s eyes snapped up. “What are we going to tell Mrs. Weasley?!” she cried, her arm slipping and getting a clear coat all down her foot.
“How about you tell her the truth,” Angelina said dryly with a small smirk over her book. “That you two got into a huge fight in the middle of the woods, started snogging, would have had sex had Fred not ruined your lives, and then he felt you up in the cottage. That sounds like a pleasant story.”
Katie rounded on her. “I’m serious!”
“Just don’t say anything until it’s official.”
“What if we don’t make it official!” Katie whined.
“Then don’t have him throw you up against a tree while she’s around,” Angelina said impatiently.
“Save that for Hogwarts,” Alicia said. “I’m sure it’ll make all the twitty fifth years jealous.”
“You mean sixth years?” I said. “Libby is going to be a sixth year.”
All three girls roared with laughter. Apparently the mere mention of Libby was enough to awake giggles in the middle of the night.
“What will The Shriekers do without Oliver?” Alicia said loudly. “Find someone else to worship. Bad luck that Roger is gone too. I was hoping they would invent some school position…like, Alicia Spinnet’s Personal Trainer. Then Roger could take it and we would live happily ever after.”
“Are you replacing my father already?” I said, snickering and shoving a pillow behind my head.
“Never, Jane. I’d never replace Mr. P. But if Madeline decides she’s really evil or actually hates Roger’s shiny hair then I’m around.”
“And you’ll be telling Lee he’s going to be fine with this?” Angelina said with a laugh.
“Obviously,” Alicia said playfully. “Those boys are going to be missed at Hogwarts. I’ll have to maybe gawk at Henrik the Quidditch-less wonder.”
I leaned back into the pillow and stared at the springs under Alicia’s mattress. I pictured what the fall would bring. The Hogwarts Express. It would be similar to the year before, I was certain, but with many changes. Fred and Angelina would still be snogging in the corner, her probably perched on his lap so we had more room in the compartment. I was certain we were usually over the fire regulations.
This time Katie and George wouldn’t be casting glances back and forth filled with half-bitten lips and curiosity. Alicia wouldn’t be talking about all the guys she snogged over the summer, the list littered with cute Muggle boys and this Durmstrang graduate. Lee wouldn’t be kicking at Fred to get him to stop snogging Angelina for a minute and listen to his pitch about a new joke item. And I wouldn’t be plotting how to get rid of Oliver as the Captain.
Instead we would be in the compartment. I would be leaning against the window watching the English countryside roll by—probably accompanied by rain. The other six would be snogging mercilessly around me. George would probably be groping Katie again. What a newfound talent, I thought bitterly.
I could always write a letter to Oliver whining about the first two hours of being on the way to Hogwarts for my seventh year. It was supposed to be my most special year, and yet we were going to be apart. He was going to be making a name for himself in Puddlemere. Devilishly good-looking Quidditch Keeper. Sexy smile. Body like nobody’s business. And I was going to sit in Charms class with a quill tucked behind my ear, taking notes for N.E.W.T.S. and wondering if Angelina was serious about me being reserve again.
And then we will head back to the dormitory and the girls will gush about their boys and I will sit there and reread the last letter Oliver sent me about his fan-girls and the women that are the next generation of Shriekers.
“Jane?” Katie waved a hand in front of my face. “I think you might have missed the entire conversation about how we can get Ellis to stop throwing himself parties.”
“It’s all about power struggles!” Alicia chimed in. “Power being my fist. Struggle being his face.”
“Right,” I said with a nod. “I could totally help with that.”
Katie crossed the room and climbed up onto her bed, kicking the blankets to the ground as well. Judging by the traces of smoke she had tried to put the fire out and failed miserably. So she opened all the windows. “What were you daydreaming about anyway? Sex with Oliver?”
I laughed, snuggling down into the bed and blowing out the candle nearest to me. “Sure,” she said. “He’s quite a catch.”
Oliver was gone before I woke the next morning. I knew he had practice, but that didn’t make it any easier. Especially since at breakfast Katie and George exchanged those lip-bite glances across the table, Angelina and Fred snogged over muffins, and Alicia slammed a pillow into Lee’s face because he said she looked pretty in the morning. She thought he was being sarcastic. His gaze showed he was being completely honest.
I sat at the corner of the table listening to Mrs. Weasley talk about how the eggs were from her favorite chicken and they tasted better than the rest. She was scrubbing a cast iron pan and humming between phrases.
“Plan for today?” George asked, still not moving his gaze from Katie. I was sweet, but I wanted to puke.
“Do nothing!” Fred chimed. “And look good doing it.”
“With Wood not here we can’t really play a team game,” Lee said. “Uneven teams.”
Reminder number seven thousand that Oliver wasn’t there.
“Why don’t you lot walk into town?” Mrs. Weasley asked. “I could use some flour.”
“For muffins?” Fred and Alicia said in unison.
“For baked chicken,” she replied, her gaze moving to the empty muffin basket in the center of the table. “And muffins.”
Fred cheered, slapped hands with Alicia, and ran to grab a shirt since he had been walking around without one all morning. “To the market!” he cried repeatedly on his way up the stairs.
“Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong,” Mrs. Weasley mumbled to herself as she continued to scrub. “Money’s on the counter, George, dear.”
After grabbing shoes, tying our hair up to shield us from more summer sweat, and scolding Fred for eating muffin crumbs, the girls and I joined the boys and made our way down the long Burrow driveway toward the dirt road at the end.
All of them were holding hands. Katie and George. Angelina and Fred. Alicia and Lee. I was holding a small clutch and a water bottle with condensation all over my damn palm.
“How long is Oliver going to be gone today?” Angelina asked, moving to kiss Fred on the cheek briefly before glancing over at me. “I hope not long.”
“I don’t know,” I replied honestly. “I know they’re running a lot of drills. They want Oliver to be the best of the best when the season opener gets here. To go from one of the worst teams in the league to the top seems like a lofty goal.”
“Oliver can do it,” Ang replied with a soft smile.
“Yep,” I said with an absent glare at the grass beside the road. “I’m sure he’s doing great.”
George started tickling Katie. She was giggling.
“We should get ice cream!” Lee cried suddenly. “I want ice cream. We need to get it.”
Alicia nudged him playfully. “Only if you buy me ice cream.”
I reached in my clutch. My money was back at the cottage. I groaned.
Ice cream would have to wait until my boyfriend wasn’t fighting off half-naked fan-girls. I wasn’t bitter at all. I wondered if Bridget was at the practice. With her binoculars. Gawking at my man.
What a bitch.
A few cars passed as we walked, George and Lee deep in an argument about the scandal surrounding the Keeper of the Arrows and how he slept with the team manager. Whether or not it got him his raise was up for debate.
Was this how it was going to be at Hogwarts? At Quidditch practice? I’d be off running laps listening to Ellis whine about the newest move he had mastered while the new Keeper was wowing everyone. And Fred and Ang would be in the air snogging. And George would be making out with Katie on her broom. And Lee would have a sign in the stands about how much he wanted to snog Alicia or something.
Was I exaggerating? Of course not. I’d never exaggerate.
Why hadn’t Oliver come in to say good-bye when he left? And left a few pounds of Muggle money to buy me ice cream. Git.
Katie shrieked with laughter as George grabbed her ass.
I had to spend a year without that. An entire two terms. I would see Oliver during breaks. Maybe during a Hogsmeade weekend. There wouldn’t be any of him grabbing my ass while walking back to the castle. No closing his hangings against his roommates and resting my head on his chest for ages while he ran his fingers through my hair. A year without that.
All while I watched the girls grow closer with Fred, George, and Lee.
I tried not to be bitter. After all, I was happy for them. They found people they loved. Who fought for them (Lee almost literally). I found a Quidditch Captain with an attitude problem and a swoon-worthy smirk.
“Whatcha gettin’, Janey?” George asked, casting a glance over his shoulder as we approached the ice cream stand. It was a large wooden building with two windows out front covered in a bright red and white canopy.
I motioned to my empty clutch. “Fresh batch of air.”
“C’mere,” George said, grabbing my arm. “It’s on me. Get this girl anything she wants!” he cried. Then he lowered his voice. “Keep it under twenty pounds, yeah?”
I snorted. I would half to order enough to make my thighs look like jello for that much. So I settled on a small vanilla cone and smiled warmly at George. Maybe I would trade my model in for a ginger one. They seemed sweet. “Thanks,” I mumbled, tasting the cool flavor which was welcome in the heat.
George ruffled my hair. He insisted on a large vanilla and chocolate concoction in a cup with several thousand ingredients sprinkled on top and Katie went with a modest strawberry cone dipped in chocolate.
I watched the rest of my friends order, each of their eyes widening from the innocence of an ice cream cone. It was amazing what nostalgia could do when it was moving through a dessert.
“Market?” Fred said, his mouth full of chocolate. He accidentally spit a few crushed cookie crumbs on the ground and whined a little. It was the next building over and covered on the outside by what looked like wood paneling. There was a porch wrapped around it with a few benches and an abandoned table littered with empty lemonade glasses.
I followed the rest of them in, unsure what to think. I was used to the hustle and bustle of London with its numerous expensive shops and odd stores selling Lou’s creations. In this village there was one market that sold all the food. All the oddities like Muggle batteries and woven baskets. My eyes followed the shelves on the wall, fingers running along the canned goods as Fred went for the flour.
There was an entire section devoted to greeting cards. I never understood the Muggle greeting cards. There was a picture and maybe some words on the front. Then writing inside. And then all you had to do was sign your name. I would much rather construct my own letter from my own words and have it mean a great deal more instead of being generalized into the “get well” category for all people who needed to get well.
I shook my head. I was going through the theory of greeting cards. Something was seriously wrong with me when I missed Oliver. Apparently I got weird.
“Let’s get this one!” Lee said, shoving one of the cards in my face. It had a picture of a shirtless bloke on the front that said, Happy Birthday! And inside it said, You wish.
I snorted with laughter. “Lee, I don’t think this will help your case any, love.”
He stared and then pushed back the sleeves of his t-shirt. “Uh, excuse you, missy.” He flexed his arm muscles. “Why yes, I do work out, thank you very much.”
Alicia grabbed his arm with a playful swoon. “Yeah, he does!” she chimed in a voice that sounded very much like Libby.
“Do we need to think of a new group of fan-girls for Lee?” I asked loftily. “How about the Almost-Shriekers? Or the Gawkers? No one will watch the games with him commentating.”
Alicia thought this over for a moment and pulled down Lee’s sleeves. “No one has to know about this,” she said after making sure his arms were covered.
“Then why have I been working out?” Lee asked, following her over toward the cooler section.
I snickered, following them to the counter as Fred loaded up on not just flour, but also chocolate candy, potato crisps, a plastic bottle of lemonade, and two strips of candy buttons. He paid with his mum’s money, grabbed the bag, and led the way back outside and onto the dirt road in the center of town.
“Anywhere else you lot want to go?” he asked, peering at the sewing shop across the way and the organic pet supply store. He wrinkled his nose.
“Not that I can think of,” I mumbled, following his eyes with skeptical glare.
“To the Burrow!” George chimed, grabbing Katie and throwing her over his shoulder. He slapped her hard on the ass and she shrieked.
“Put me down!” she cried. “George, I’m very serious right now!” So serious she was laughing. Her face was a bright red and she kept trying to hit him but missing since she was bobbing up and down.
“I won’t,” he said. “I spent far too long without you, I’m not letting you go now.”
Who knew George Weasley was capable of being sweet? Damn him.
I could totally be in love with George. Or Fred. Move over, girls. I needed a ginger.
Fat chance. Who was I kidding?
“Jane, dear, you got a letter,” Mrs. Weasley said when we entered, trying our best to wipe away the dirt at the front door. She handed me an envelope in my father’s handwriting.
Don’t blame me for only waiting one day to write you. I’m a father after all and since I know you aren’t busy studying at school, you have free time. I hope everything is going well there. Give your friends my love. Yes, even Alicia, but smack her if she gets that puppy look about her.
I wanted to tell you that I’m going to tell Lou.
Yes, about being a wizard. I really think we have a future, Jane, and I love her very much. Even with her baggage by the name of Amanda. I know you aren’t fond of Amanda, but I’m sure you can make it work. Lou and I are so great together and I can really see us getting married one day. I’m very excited so I hope you can support me, pumpkin.
All my love,
I scratched my head, noticing the others had abandoned me for the warm kitchen as Mrs. Weasley started making muffins. I followed them in, staying by the door. “Dad’s going to tell Lou,” I said nonchalantly. “About him being a wizard. He wants to marry her.”
I was vaguely aware of my jaw being lopsided. I was happy for him. Right? I was happy he was dating. I was happy Lou was lovely. I was happy she was not crazy and the things she sold in her shop were cute. But marriage? Forgive me if that thought hadn’t crossed my mind.
“Jane,” Angelina said, getting up from the table and moving across the room to me. “Are you okay?”
“Of course,” I said, shaking my head. “Yes, of course. I told him he ought to tell her soon so I didn’t have to hide all this Quidditch business—had to tell her Oliver played football.”
The group laughed. Fred snorted and rubbed his nose in frustration.
“But I guess I didn’t think he’d already be thinking about marriage,” I added in a quiet voice. “I mean, he’s a widow. I got used to people just making that aww noise when he told them. And now I could have a new mother. A step mother. Am I okay to react like this? Am I being selfish?”
Ang shook her head. “You’re not being selfish,” she said. “You’re being shocked is all.”
“Right,” I said, sinking into her vacant chair. “I want him to be happy.”
“I think he is,” Alicia said, grabbing a button off of Fred’s paper strip and popping it into her mouth. “As much as it upsets me.” She winked playfully.
Mrs. Weasley glanced over with a curious eye.
“Amanda’s going to be my sister,” I grumbled.
“Then you can lock her in the wardrobe with your wand when she bugs you,” said Alicia. “Or threaten her with magic. She’ll shape right up. Maybe she’ll stop hitting on Oliver and Roger.”
“She hits on Roger?” Fred said, his nose wrinkling. “I’m going to come over and set her straight. Gryffindors are the only ones worth fancying. Obviously.”
“You’re not going near her,” Angelina said, plopping down on Fred’s lap. “She might club you over the head and drag you back to her hut.”
I snorted with laughter. It wouldn’t be that bad. Lou was a nice lady and Dad was happy. That’s all I needed. Especially since I would be back at Hogwarts in a couple weeks.
“We should go swimming again,” Fred said once we were all in the cottage and whining about the heat.
“We always go swimming,” mumbled Angelina.
“We should play Quidditch.”
“We always play Quidditch,” she whined.
“We could throw you to the gnomes,” Fred offered.
“Shut your mouth,” Angelina said and threw a pillow at him. “I’m just saying we should come up with something to do that we don’t normally do.”
“What are your ideas then, missy?” Fred asked. They were on the sofa, Fred’s legs sprawled out over her and she was running her fingers down his calves. “And don’t say a bonfire where we try to capture you and Alicia bests George and then George and Katie start snogging like damn rabbits. Because we’ve already done that.”
Katie and George flushed.
“Then let’s sit here and tape your bloody mouth shut.”
“Second,” Alicia said.
“Third,” I said, grabbing my brush and running it through my hair a few times. I snatched up a quill while they argued.
I am happy for you! I hope you didn’t think I wouldn’t be. Shocked, perhaps. But I’m very happy for you that you found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. Lou is a wonderful woman and even though Amanda is…well, Amanda, I can stand her. Especially after she knows I can use magic. Not that I would threaten her.
Anyway, keep me posted.
Fred stood up, messed up Angelina’s hair, and moved toward the door. “It’s time to liven up this party then,” he said fondly and left.
“Just by him leaving it’s livelier,” Ang mumbled with a sly smirk.
“You going to be okay, Jane?” asked Lee, glancing down from the top bunk. “If all else fails, you know, you’ll be back at Hogwarts with us having the time of your life for a year. And then you’ll go off and have a career being awesome. I hear that’s a competitive field but you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Do you think Hogwarts will be weird without Oliver?” I asked suddenly.
They all glanced at me as if they had been expecting this for weeks.
“Yeah,” Alicia said, though her face didn’t appear.
There was silence in the cottage for a few minutes as I studied the details on my hands and blood drained to Lee’s head. Luckily, Fred shoved the door open and set a box down on the floor. There was a burly figure behind him.
“Look what I found,” Fred said cheerfully, sliding the box inside the room with his foot. “Alcohol! And Wood. But the first is obviously far more important. Since Mum had Wood pretty occupied asking about his practice.” He rolled his eyes and nearly fell on top of Angelina snogging her.
Oliver shuffled in and sat down by my feet. “Sore with me for leaving without a kiss?” he asked quietly, glancing over. His chocolate eyes danced a little in the light from outside.
“I’m always sore with you,” I said with a smirk. I couldn’t help it. He was a little sweaty and his shirt clung to his skin. “I could have used some money though.”
“Yeah, George had to buy me an ice cream because I left my money back here.” I winked and nudged him with my foot. “I didn’t have a boyfriend to treat me to dessert.”
“Oh, I’ll treat you to dessert,” he growled in a low voice so no one else could hear.
I nudged him again. “Stop it,” I said, but grinned.
“Hey!” he cried suddenly and I jumped, nearly hitting my head on the bunk above mine. “I found out who it was!”
“Who what was?” Katie asked curiously.
“Who poisoned me!”
My jaw fell open. “And we were talking about dessert…”
“It was this girl called Beth,” Oliver said with a nod. “She’s one of Bridget’s mates, but Bridget didn’t know about it. I’ve seen her around at all the practices with Bridget practically drooling. I thought it was over Denters though since Bridget was occupied with trying to sell her soul for a date with me.” He chuckled, though I didn’t think it was as funny. “But according to the security tapes she walked in with a bag with something red in it and didn’t leave with the bag.”
“That’s not the only evidence, I hope,” said Katie, tilting her head.
“No, no,” Oliver said, shaking his head. “They asked her about it because of other assumptions and she ended up cracking and spouting off all this nonsense about how much she was in love with me and she was going to make a move after I looked to be getting sick of Bridget.” He chuckled. “Then she found out Jane and I got back together and I guess she went a little bonkers.”
“A little?” Alicia said, snorting with laughter. “The girl tried to poison Jane. I don’t know about you, but I’m about to go clock her one. And then kick her like I did Bridget.”
“You kicked Bridget?” Oliver asked.
“We’re discussing Beth here,” Alicia informed him, her cheeks going pink.
He rolled his eyes. “She’s in St. Mungos right now for psychiatric treatment from the Healers. And Bridget came up to my and apologized for her behavior.” He let out a hefty laugh. “Oh, yes, because a little I’m sorry is going to make up for attempting to poison my girlfriend and actually poisoning me.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “So I just thought I’d let you all know it was a crazy fan.”
“So comforting,” I mumbled, thinking about the other crazy fans out there. The ones that would be around when I wasn’t there to almost be poisoned. The ones that would try and seduce Oliver after a few cocktails and the others that would just try to straight up drug him.
“To the pond?” Fred said, surfacing from Angelina’s lips and nodding toward the alcohol.
“To the pond,” I replied, brushing my lips against Oliver’s as I stood up. He gave me another low growl, which drove my mind away from silly fans for now.
Firewhiskey wasn’t something I was fond of. Especially the way it burned down my throat and made Fred into a giggling idiot. Okay, I liked that part. Fred was on the dock staring at the stars, which weren’t there at all, his foot circling in the water. Angelina was with him pounding shots. She was a trooper.
George had invited Katie to construct a sandcastle with him. He looked at her more than the sand. The castle was basically a pile of dirt with sticks at the top.
Lee and Alicia were swimming in the shallows, which we instructed them was as far as they could go sing Alicia couldn’t stand anymore. She kept letting out shrill giggles and prodding Lee in the side.
I sat a little further away with Oliver, both of us nursing large bottles of Firewhiskey. Both of us unable to say the word Firewhiskey.
“Practice went well today,” he said quickly, taking another swig and snickering at Lee, who had just thrown Alicia in the water again. “I got to do some more saving drills.”
“Any news on Liam and Michelle?” I asked, glancing over with a dizzy haze over my eyes.
“They had a drunk hookup the other night,” Oliver replied. “But other than that they’re not speaking to each other.”
I raised a brow. “Let’s have a drunk hookup,” I said.
“Okay,” Oliver said, laughing and he kissed me.
I lost my balance and fell back into the sand. “Bugger.”
“Maybe we’ll wait until later, hmm?” Oliver put his hand under my back and helped me to a sitting position. He took another drink. “Do you have something on your mind? Other than my unnatural good looks?”
I snorted and glanced around. Fred and Angelina were snogging again.
“I don’t like this,” I said suddenly.
“Don’t like what?” Oliver asked. He raised a curious brow. “Hanging out with your friends in the summer? Or being on a beach and not swimming? Because I still have to pay you back for me not catching you…”
“No, no,” I said, shaking my head and almost falling again. “This like…Hogwarts next year. Like we’re living in this weird little fantasy summer where everything is wonderful until school. Hell, this is almost a summer fling.” I snorted with laughter, but Oliver wasn’t laughing. “When am I even going to see you?”
“Do we have to talk about this right now?”
“You asked me what was on my mind,” I informed him. “That’s what has been on my mind all day. Ever since I had to walk behind all of them. All holding hands. And I was holding my damn clutch. Which is not hot and sexy, by the way. I almost considered switching to gingers.”
Oliver raised a brow at me and rubbed my shoulder gently. “Jane, that’s stupid.”
“I know. I don’t even have a thing for red-heads.”
He groaned. “Look,” he said. “We’re going to be fine.”
“Easy for you to say,” I snapped. “You’re going to be a Quidditch hero and everyone will adore you. I am going to be stuck in my seventh year of Hogwarts without a boyfriend to hang out with while I’m watching all of my roommates make out on their beds and get half-groped.” I narrowed my eyes.
“What do you want me to do, Jane? Tell you I’ll go to Hogsmeade every weekend, sneak you out, and snog you in the inn there?”
“I knew you’d be like this,” I said loudly, kicking at the sand. “I knew you’d think this was some kind of big joke. I’m going to see you when? A Hogsmeade weekend and then Christmas holiday? Sounds like a distance relationship to me.”
“Do you have a problem with that?” Oliver said roughly.
“Yes!” I said loudly and Katie glanced up from the sandcastle. “I do have a problem with that. How are we supposed to even have a relationship if you’re not there? If I’m just writing you letters—don’t you see you could get jumped by a damn fan-girl (or Bridget) and I’d have no idea until it showed up in Quidditch Weekly?”
Oliver groaned. “You’re being ridiculous,” he fired back. The others were staring. Except Fred and Angelina, who were still snogging. “You’re being selfish. This is my career. You have to go to school.”
“So you’re not in the least bit concerned?” I said. “What if I suddenly fall in love with a Slytherin?”
“Then you fall in love with a Slytherin,” he said calmly.
“What the fuck happened to you?!” I cried, throwing my arms in the air and tossing my bottle into the sand. “What happened to the Oliver that used to argue back? If you’re so willing to part with me for a Slytherin maybe this is worthless.”
His brows raised and I knew I struck a nerve. Damn right. Oliver’s eyes were on fire. It was that look he’d given me at the World Cup when I was outside chatting with Roger. “I’m warning you, Jane,” he said in a low voice. “This is not the time to be talking about this.”
“Oh, okay,” I said, my head spinning with Firewhiskey effects. “You just let me know when we can talk about our future. Or lack thereof. Whenever.” I grabbed the bottle and stood up, stumbling a bit before regaining my balance and moving toward the pond. Alicia’s eyes widened.
“Do you want me to quit Quidditch?” he roared.
“Do you want me to be miserable?” I countered, moving now toward the sand castle.
Oliver followed, his legs covered in dried sand. “It’s always about you, Jane! Why don’t you just owl Dodger and cry on his bloody shoulder about it for a while?”
“Not good,” mumbled George, taking Katie’s hand and tugging her toward the dock.
I wheeled around to meet his eyes. “What did you just say?”
“Clearly you’re far too miserable with me!”
“Wood, you couldn’t care any fucking less than you do right now,” I said. “You’re perfectly fine going off and being a huge star as long as I’m stuffed up in a castle waiting for you.”
“Deny it,” I snapped.
Oliver’s jaw fell lopsided.
“That’s all I needed. Thanks.” I downed the rest of the Firewhiskey, cringing at the burn, and shoved past him.
He didn’t follow. I didn’t expect him to.
But I still wanted him to.
A few minutes after I crawled into the bed, sand stretching its way across the quilt, the girls came in silently. Well, it was silent until Katie shrieked from tripping over a pillow and did a face-plant near the sofa. Alicia and Angelina climbed into the bed with me, Alicia’s wet hair finding its way onto my arm. Katie shoved them both to sit on the foot of the bed.
“Jane,” Ang said, rubbing her eyes a bit. “Are you okay?”
“Is there even a point?” I said breathlessly, my eyes feeling a familiar sting.
“Of course there is,” she said. “You two love each other.”
“He said the words, then you fall in love with a Slytherin.”
“He’s not perfect, the big idiot,” Alicia mumbled.
“The alcohol doesn’t help,” Katie added, putting a hand on my leg. “Just talk it out. You’ll come up with a solution.”
“I don’t know if I even have an option,” I said quietly. “Either way I don’t get to see him. Either way he’s off on all these adventures while I’m stuck in the castle without interaction.”
“You get to see all of us!” Alicia said cheerfully.
“No offense, Leesh,” I said, glancing down at her and removing strands of her hair from my arm, “but getting to hang out all the time is a little different from watching you lot snog your boyfriends all damn day. And I know you won’t be…but you know it’ll feel that way. And it’ll be worse than being single. Because I could have that. I do have that. He’s just not there. He won’t be there.” I frowned, trying to move the thoughts from my head. “And I know I could sneak out sometimes so I can see him more than just Hogsmeade weekends, but it just sounds miserable. I’m miserable just thinking about it.”
“Jane, you’ll work it out,” Angelina said somberly. The girls looked at me.
“I just don’t know if all this waiting is even worth it.”
A/N: Argh, sorry to leave things on such a sour/down note! Jane is currently having a bit of a mental breakdown. It has to be hard watching all of your friends snog all the time and have such a complicated situation. But at least that complicated situation is with OLIVER WOOD.
Thoughts? Favorite quotes?
I hope no one has recently been plagued by the severe weather across the United States. We had a tornado warning here this morning. Apparently I slept through it since there was no thunder. Bugger.
Also, a thank you goes out to everyone who has left me a HPFF-related question on my Formspring! Thank you all!
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