“C’mon, Fitz-y. Give me something.”
Fitz stared at his pie.
“You’re starting to scare me a bit.”
He picked up his fork.
“I’m going to have to write Mungo’s.”
There was a loud clink as he stabbed the pie and the fork met the glass plate it was on.
“You killed it,” I said jokingly.
We had been sat in the kitchens for a good half an hour. Fitz hadn’t said a word. He simply ate whatever food I asked the house elves to place in front of him.
So far he’d been through three chocolate éclairs, scrambled eggs and bacon, some lasagna and a cup of coffee.
I was starting to feel a bit sick just watching him.
“She thinks I’m a freak.”
Okay Marely, calmly have this conversation. Don’t want him to clam up… or stab you with his fork.
“She was just angry, Fitz. You know Dom. You said yourself she’d the nicest-“
“Yeah, she’s the nicest person ever and she still thinks I’m a freak.”
“Well, you aren’t,” I shrugged. “She was angry with me, not you.”
“Still, she was angry with you and she thinks I’m a freak.”
“Fitz, come on,” I said imploringly. “She didn’t mean it.”
“But I am a freak.”
There was defeat in his voice.
“I take offense to that,” I said, nodding vigorously. Fitz actually looked up at me this time.
“Well, you are slightly loopy. I hardly expect you to make sense all the time,” he shrugged. Then he went back to his pie as I scoffed.
“’Slightly loopy’… What I was trying to say was if you’re a freak, then, by extension, so am I, seeing as I’m your friend and all-“
“That’s unsound logic,” Fitz grumbled, chewing aggressively.
“Your face is unsound logic,” I shot back.
“Eloquent,” Fitz deadpanned. I folded my arms and sat back in a huff.
“You made fun of my logic,” I muttered darkly. I saw Fitz’s lips twitch upwards slightly, and I knew I wasn’t fighting a totally lost battle. I sat up, resolve newly renewed, and pulled the plate away from him. He protested loudly.
“Lets go,” I said.
I then got up, walked around the table, and began pulling Fitz by the arm.
“Let go of me!”
“I don’t want to go-“
“This is stupid-“
“Ugh, Ness, get off-“
“Who cares what Dom says-“
“What’s you prob- AARGH!”
Fitz’s chair tilted back on its legs due to a particularly strong pull from his side, and he went crashing to the ground.
I took a bite of his pie.
“Never a dull moment with you two, is there.”
Fitz said “Ow” from the floor.
Fred and Potter stood there, looking more than a little out of place. Fred was looking at me in a way that suggested Dom hadn’t spilt the beans. Potter was looking at Fitz (who was still lying on the floor) with a slightly worried expression.
“What do you want?” I asked Fred suspiciously.
“Well, Red, seeing as you are my date… I thought I’d come and collect you.”
“Thought you’d come and… Merlin, Freddie, did you miss the part where I ditched you for Quin?”
“You mean the guy who’s snogging Alexis Zabini in the dungeons as we speak?” Fred snorted.
“Hmm,” I said absently, looking at the motionless Fitz.
“Fitz,” I sighed, kneeling next to him and grasping the front of his jacket. “I understand you’re upset about the Starwars prequels, but you simply can’t go on like this.”
Then I hauled him into a sitting position.
He blinked at me. I was proud of my tact. Although, I was curious about what would happen if Potter and Fred knew Fitz was in love with their cousin.
Possible apocalyptic scenario waiting to happen there.
“But… but Anakin was such a nice boy,” Fitz whined. I grinned.
“I know… but he was kind of a git too, you know? He didn’t have to go over to the Dark Side,” I said soothingly. I was good at Mother Hen-ing people, Bridgette always said.
“But Padme was so… perfect.”
“Maybe, but becoming a Sith is never an option,” I said knowledgably. “Princess or not.”
“Do you have any idea what’s going on?” Fred whispered loudly to Potter. My head snapped to them, and I snorted at the confused looks on their faces. I looked back to Fitz, who gave me a small smile, before getting up and hauling him with me.
“So, Fredrick, shall we?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. Fred did a stupid air whoop and held out an arm for me to take.
“I love how I always get the hot girls,” he smirked proudly.
“Whatever you think it is you’re getting, Freddie, you aren’t,” I told him, patting him on the shoulder.
“I can expect a kiss goodnight at least, can’t I?” he said, mock-hopefully. I rolled by eyes as we walked out into the Entrance Hall. Potter and Fitz were behind us, neither of them saying anything.
He was being weird tonight; Potter, I mean. He hadn’t said much. Maybe he ran out of his favourite shampoo or something.
I glanced back at him. He was staring at the floor and following us with his hands shoved in his pockets. I turned back to Fred and poked him discreetly in the shoulder.
“What’s wrong with Potter?” I whispered. Fred glanced back as well, before looking at me.
“You noticed too, huh?”
We came to a stop in front of the doors to the Great Hall before I could answer. It didn’t look anything like the place we ate meals at every day.
The Heads had outdone themselves. Without the four long tables spread out across the Hall, it looked a lot bigger. Smaller tables were scattered around the makeshift dance floor. Two longer tables lined the walls, looking out onto the grounds. To replace the floating candles that usually provided light were large jack-o-lanterns. To finish off the effect was a band, one of whom was blowing into what looked like a hairy bagpipe.
Since we were more than a little late, the embarrassing dancing had already commenced. I spotted Andrea doing some sort of weird chicken move with a boy I’d never seen before at the edge of the dance floor and couldn’t help but grin at the sight.
“There you are!” Rebecca was suddenly in front of us, looking a little flush from dancing. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere!”
“Hey, we were-“
“Yeah, yeah, come on. Calix Barnabas is completely flirting with Trace. You just have to see this.”
It didn’t matter. I was being dragged off into the sea of people before I could complete my sentence. I glanced back, and all three boys were watching as Rebecca pulled me away. Well, Fitz had a sort of hazy, far-off look in his eyes and I really didn’t want to leave him alone right then.
Not that I really had any choice in the matter, of course. But still.
Calix Barnabas turned out to be the lead singer of the band. He was a tall, skinny guy with a head full of dreadlocks and clothes that looked like they hadn’t been washed since the middle ages.
He was also looking at Tracey in a way that made me slightly uncomfortable as he sang some shockingly explicit things into the microphone.
At first it felt forced when Rebecca took my hands and started jumping, screaming and twirling to the music. But then, somehow before I knew it, I was dancing with her. I didn’t forget about Charles, Fitz or Henri. I didn’t forget that my father, maybe even the families of my friends, could be in danger. I didn’t forget that I hadn’t heard from my best friend of five years in two months.
But, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t let it bother me.
Everyone around us that night knew. Everyone had read the papers. In fact, it was hard to go anywhere without hearing the words ‘Malfoy’ or ‘Dark Mark’. But they were all in there, dancing, just like me. Knowing, but still dancing.
If not now, I figured, then when else?
Three songs in, both Rebecca and I were unattractively wheezing and giggling at Tracey and the hobo lead singer.
“I need water,” I yelled in Rebecca’s ear.
“Me too,” she said. “Let’s just leave her here.”
We located a huge pitcher of cold pumpkin juice on one of the long tables and stood there, watching our classmates embarrass themselves.
“Some party,” Rebecca said.
“I hope someone takes pictures,” I snorted.
“You do realised we looked like wankers out there, don’t you?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
I looked around the room, searching for Fitz. For a moment I was afraid he’d gone back to his dorm to feel bad for himself, and I was fully ready to go and drag him back; if I could move my arse and be here, so could he.
Then I spotted all the guys sitting at one of the tables in the corner. They all looked so bored out of their minds, I giggled out loud. Rebecca followed my gaze and smirked.
“Think we should save them?” she asked.
“Might as well,” I shrugged. “I’m kind of the reason Fred doesn’t have a proper date.”
So, after picking up the trays with the most food on them (although I’m sure the house elves will refill the nearly empty ones), we headed over to the table.
“Boys,” Rebecca said, setting down a plate full of assorted grilled foods.
“Food!” Quin said happily, lunging at the pastries I’d just set down.
“Pretty girls bringing me food… would either of you be interested in marriage?” Fred enquired.
“To you?” Rebecca asked sceptically, raising an eyebrow.
“No, to Roxanne,” Fred rolled his eyes. I looked over at Fitz, who was staring at something opposite him, looking a little alarmed. Following his gaze, my eyes landed on a group of girls, all glaring towards poor Fitz and, undoubtedly, bitching.
“Did you tell them you hate unicorns or something?” I asked uncertainly.
“Jenny,” Fitz said in explanation. I figured that the girl in the very middle of the congregation was Jenny Wilson since she was being repeatedly patted on the back by the others. I looked back at the still distressed Fitz, and something struck me.
“Fitz, I have a proposition for you,” I said loudly enough to draw his attention away. Everyone looked at me. Fitz surveyed me suspiciously. Then something dawned on him and he sighed.
“What do I need to do for the liquorice wands?” he asked, defeated. I grinned.
“Go over there, apologise to Jenny Wilson, blame me if you must, and… I don’t know. Snog her or whatever.”
“Why would he blame you?”
I ignored Potter.
“Well?” I prompted. Fitz was looking from Jenny to me to Dom, who was sat at a nearby table with all her friends, looking absolutely miserable. I saw it, the resolve he was gaining from whatever he was thinking. For all I knew, he was pondering about the most ideal size for a garden gnome, but it didn’t matter.
“Good idea, Ness,” he said, getting up from the table. He was looking directly at Jenny Wilson and her gang, except now he didn’t look even remotely panicked. Actually, you’ll never believe what he did.
Fitz, get this… he winked.
And it wasn’t even a spazzy ‘there’s-something-in-my-eye’ wink.
It was a full on ‘hello-there’ wink.
My Fitz-y was growing up.
He then walked around the table and right up to Jenny Wilson. I shit you not when I say he didn’t trip over or, you know, set something on fire.
Jenny looked up at him as he approached, caught between nervousness and indignation. Everyone at our table was watching in wonder as the scene unfolded.
“What d’you reckon he’s saying?” Fred asked in hushed tones.
“Aw, she’s blushing,” Rebecca said excitedly.
“Why’re they all looking at him like he’s Merlin?” Quin wanted to know.
“Uh oh, the blond friend looks pissed,” I said nervously.
“I think he’s asking her to dance,” Potter said.
“Five Chocolate Frogs she says no,” Fred snorted.
“You’re on,” Quin said.
“Your loss, mate. She looks too pissed off to… wait, what? NO!” Fred said loudly as Jenny nodded shyly and took the hand Fitz was holding out to her. We all watched in wonder as they walked onto the dance floor full of couples swaying to a slow song.
“Where did that come from?” Potter said after a moment’s silence.
“Fitz has game, you guys,” Quin said in wonder.
“Can I at least keep the Chocolate Frog cards?” Fred asked Quin moodily. Bickering commenced. Rebecca sat down on the chair Fitz had vacated, leaving me to stand and watch Fitz and Jenny proudly. It was totally creepy and all, but I couldn’t help it. Fitz didn’t need any more crap thrown his way from people at Hogwarts. They’d made his life hard enough thus far. If hanging out with the new girl and the school slut had somehow upped his cool quotient, good for him.
“Here,” Potter said from behind me. He was getting up from his chair and pushing it towards me.
“Oh, it’s fine-“
Potter rolled his eyes, reached back and stole a chair from the nearest table for himself.
I sat down next to him just as Rebecca made the mistake of trying to be the mediator in Fred and Quin’s argument.
“He gets to keep the chocolate part! Tell him, Becks,” Fred whined.
“But a deal’s a deal,” Quin said to Rebecca. “I want my five Chocolate Frogs; cards and all.”
“Think we should do something?” I said jokingly to Potter. When he didn’t respond, I looked his way.
He was spaced out, a la Fitz.
So, naturally, I reached out and poked him hard in the shoulder.
“Huh? Yeah. You’re right,” he said quickly.
“I’m right that you fancy Professor Gellar?” I asked, appalled.
“No! What? I… you’re being cute, aren’t you? Hilarious.”
I grinned. Potter rolled his eyes.
“But seriously,” I said after a moment. “What’s up with you? You haven’t said more than two words all night.”
Potter looked at me for so long that it started to get a little uncomfortable. I was beginning to think he was annoyed that I’d asked and was about to apologise when he answered.
“My brother hates me.”
I stared at him.
“I… Well, I’m sorry, Potter.”
Potter surveyed me with a wry smile on his face.
“You didn’t say he doesn’t,” he said finally. I shrugged.
“For all I know, you might’ve murdered his owl or something.”
For some reason, Potter smiled.
“You don’t beat around the bush a lot, do you?”
“Not when it doesn’t help my cause, no.”
Potter looked out onto the dance floor.
“Andrea asked me to be her date.”
I’d guessed as much, but I didn’t want to get conned into being some kind of informant or something if Potter found out.
“And Albus found out,” I said.
I took his silence for affirmation. I sat there, half tuned in to the bickering that was taking place at the opposite side of the table when he spoke again.
“And Dom… It’s about a boy isn’t it? Whatever secret of hers you’re keeping.”
I turned to look at him quickly, slightly alarmed. Of course, Potter didn’t miss the reaction. He nodded once and looked away, clearly troubled.
“I said nothing, Potter. You can’t just assume-“
“Look, this has nothing to do with me and-“
“But you were looking out for her when it was still going on.”
I stared at him and I’m pretty sure I looked distressed. It was Potter as a person who made me uneasy; especially when he was like this. I could take the Potter that yelled mean things at me any day, but this Potter was a whole other story.
I suppose it bothered me because I had to actively work at being tactful. But for him, it was second nature. And what’s more, he genuinely cared. He didn’t let on, of course, and at first I’d just thought it was simply part of the dark and mysterious thing he had going on. It dawned on me then that maybe, maybe, Potter never said much because he just got things… kind of like in the way Fitz and I understood each other.
The mere possibility of me being right made me so uncomfortable that I found myself unceremoniously grabbing Fred and dragging him out onto the dance floor, without explanation, simply to get away from James Potter.
A/N: I feel like this update wasn't as bad as last time. Anyway, what do you guys think? Like it? Don't like it? Are you lot still shipping Dom/Fitz. What do you think about the end bit with Mar and James? Leave me a reviews, they
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