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27 June 2007 @ 05:06 pm
Chapter 6: But it’s Better if You Don’t  


I had been so tired earlier…why couldn’t I drift into a nice fit of unconsciousness now? Was it because of Ryan’s kiss? I didn’t want to think about it. I had been laying there tossing and turning for almost an hour before I finally nodded off to sleep. Once I did however, I was only thrown into the shittiest dreams imaginable. So it was a bit of a pleasure to wake up the next morning. Still, morning brought gray skies and bitter rain. Not too surprising, I mean it rained at Hogwarts on average 3 times a week, although it was a little unseasonable, but it suited my mood.

I had somehow managed to achieve that first day of school look without even trying. I was amazed: my makeup was perfectly applied, hair in all the right places, accessories all lined up in the perfect combination. I looked unbelievable; I might even be giving Ryan a run for his money today. I grabbed my bag, took one last look in the mirror (avoiding the glances of the other girls in the room), and headed down to the Great Hall. I was excited to be eating breakfast with Spencer, Jon, and Ryan, simply because my table lacked depth. Not to say that all of the Gryffindors were boring or anything like that. It's just all my friends were in other houses. The Weasley twins were the only people that ever really talked to me in Gryffindor and well…they weren’t there anymore. I swear I would much rather be in Hufflepuff and ridiculed, than Gryffindor and friendless.

The halls were jammed with students trying to get too breakfast on time, so that they could get something to eat as opposed to, heading off to classes on an empty stomach. My OWLS had turned out better than I ever could have imagined. I had actually scored better than Hermione Granger, which I would never admit to any of my friends. It’s not that I was a genius or anything like that it’s just I was always forced to try and give my best at everything when I was a kid. Plus, school just sort of came naturally to me. The one thing that truly bothers me about this whole situation though is that I don’t know what I want to do with my life after Hogwarts. Since it's my second to last year here the ever pending doom of my departure lays heavy on my mind. I knew that I needed to start making decision on what I wanted to do with my future but I just couldn’t get around to it. About the only thing that I could think of doing would be either teaching or working in a library or something like that…but really an office job just wasn’t for me. The thought of turning into the next Professor McGonagall flashed in my head. "Oh fuck no!"

As I entered the Great Hall I heard the familiar whistle that was usually given to grab my attention. Sure enough, there was Jon waving his arms around like an idiot motioning me to grab the seat next to him. After he saw that he had my attention, he pointed to the Hufflepuff sitting a few seats down from him and made this sort of fist shaking motion, like he was going to beat them up if they tried anything fishy. I couldn’t help but laugh, since it was painfully obvious he’d talked to Ryan. Jon was predictably adorable and I loved him to death, but I couldn’t put up with all of his drinking. Other than that though, Jon was like the perfect man. I assume though that that was why he was taken and not free for the world have and enjoy (and by enjoy I mean…well you know).

I sauntered over to sit in the seat that Jon had obtained for me. Spencer and Ryan were sitting across from him with their schedules and mine in hand. Spencer looked like he was about to explode. “We got your schedule from Professor McGonagall! We all have classes together!” I couldn’t help but laugh. Jon of course wouldn’t have a class with us since he was a year ahead, but Ryan, Spencer, and I would.

“Really which,” I asked in an inquiring manner?

“Well we have Astronomy together. Ryan and You however have Transfigurations together. Then we all three have Defense Against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Creatures, OOHHHH MYYYYY GAWWWD, this is going to be so exciting!” Oh my lord…Spencer was actually squealing. Jon was in tears by this, I was laughing so hard that I had side cramps, and Ryan simply watched his friend in disbelief.

Jon had this look on his face that was very hard to put a finger on, it was sort of a mix between constipation and pure bliss, “Spence, I love you so much man.” With this everyone busted out with a round of fresh laughter, even Spencer himself who had previous been mum on the conversation.

Breakfast had to be my most favorite meal of the day. I was currently downing some eggs and toast, while thoroughly enjoying the company that I was having the pleasure of being a part of. I was happy to see things were not awkward with Ryan after the kiss last night. It was nice to know that we were both able to act like adults and that we didn’t let little things like pleasurable kisses get in our way. If this was the case though, why was it the only thing I could think about when I looked at him? I could still remember the way his lips had felt on mine, the added warmth that seemed to have radiated off of him when our lips had locked for only those few moments.

“Earth to Winnie!” Jon was snapping his fingers in my face. I had been zoning off into my own little reality where I was standing outside of the Gryffindor Common Room and Ryan was pressing me close to him and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

“I’m sorry guys; I guess I didn’t sleep to well last night.” Ryan looked at me when I said this. I couldn't help but look away and blush. What the fuck was wrong with me? Ryan was my friend, nothing more. Plus if was perfectly healthy for friends to kiss right?

“Anyways like I was saying,” Jon looked little deterred by my lack of attention span and continued talking to the guys. “We need to band together since this is my last year here. Sort of my last hoorah, so we’ve got to make it memorable. We’ve got to make this year stand out from all the rest!” Spencer shook his head in agreement.

I had started to daze off again when Ryan’s voice drew me back down to earth, “I say that you make it the year that you two finally start making out and stop gracing us with so many alternate forms of PDA.” Ryan had finally chimed in on whatever was being said. I thought it was brilliant but apparently Spencer and Jon did not, but then I had missed a bit.

“You know Ross if you weren’t sitting across this massive table I just might have to do something about your snide little remark.” Jon pulled out his wand from inside his robes.

“Might? Are we a little soft these days Jon? I remember when you would never have let something like that go unchecked. I hope you aren’t growing ill!” I put my hand on his forehead as if I was checking for a fever. He batted my hand away.

“Oh bugger off would you!” Jon was annoyed, but he managed to somehow manage a wink in my direction.

I looked over at Ryan and gave him a smile. I could feel him place his dainty little foot on top of mine. Was he playing footsies with me? Surely not! I mean if he was then I suppose it was alright with me. But what am I thinking? I am still very much infatuated with William, contrary to whatever I may have told Ryan; this shouldn’t even be fluttering around in my head!

I slid my foot out of his grasp and looked over at Spencer. He hadn’t said anything and I was a bit concerned. I hope he knew we were just joking and that we didn’t really think that there was anything going on between the two of them. I always seemed to worry about Spencer the most. He was totally out of his element when he moved here from the states.

“Spence are you alright over there? You aren’t usually this quiet either.” I was fussing over him like a mother hen, the surest way to scare him off, but I couldn’t help myself.

“Yeah I’m fine why wouldn’t I be? You think I’m going to let a comment like that from a boy who strikingly resembles a girl who has yet to hit puberty annoy me? Hell no!” Ryan glared over at Spencer and was about to say something, but I cut him off.

“Hey now come off it, all of you. There will be no fighting on the first day of school, you go that?” I pointed at each one in turn, “Besides this is the Hufflepuff table, you guys are supposed to be all puppy dogs and rainbows.” I gave them all a reassuring smile and a little sideways hug to Jon. “Plus it’s breakfast, how can anyone be upset at breakfast?” No one could be angry at breakfast, ever. There should be a rule about that.

Spencer and Jon started talking soccer while Ryan was started staring a whole through me. This was crazy; I just wanted to eat breakfast in peace. Maybe it was a bad idea moving over to the puffers table? I thought about Cydney, the girl in Slytherin that I had meet yesterday as I saw her walk out of the Great Hall. It was nice to see that there were decent people in Slytherin, I mean other than Brendon of course. Speaking of the little devil he hadn’t made it to breakfast yet. He had probably slept in or worse, was being attacked by Mrs. Frizzle and her motley crew.

“We should probably be going don’t you think?” I chimed in as looked at the time was leaving. Ryan and I needed to make it up to the classroom before Professor McGonagall, not that I was worried about being late or anything I just hated the thought of it.

“Yeah I suppose you are right.” Ryan took one last sip of pumpkin juice and looked over to Spencer. “So Spence, Winnie and I will catch you later?”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” Spencer gave us the biggest, fakest smile I had ever seen. He was a little bitter about Ryan's remark but he would never admit to it, and Ryan wouldn’t bring it up again.

“You ready?” Ryan asked as he looked over at me.

“Almost,” I grabbed my books, kissed Jon on the top of the head and wished everyone a fond farewell.

Ryan and I had a hard time making our way through the crowds of people in the main hall, but once we made it to the stairs we seemed to have a better go at it. Ryan had his man bag thrown over his shoulder and onto his hip. It looked a lot like the one I almost bought when I was in London, but it was hard to tell since it was crammed full of books. As a matter of fact, it looked so heavy that I wasn’t exactly sure how he was able to carry it all.

“Why didn’t you sleep well?” Ryan’s voice held that same tone of concern in it which always made me gush a little. I couldn’t tell him it was because I couldn’t stop thinking about him so I had to fabricate a lie and do it rather quickly.

“Hermione’s damn cat kept jumping on Shakespeare and wouldn’t leave him alone, not to mention she wouldn’t stop snoring! I don’t see how anyone slept last night to be honest.” That sounded reasonable.

“Oh.” He seemed a little let down by this but I was thinking too much into it.

“How did you sleep? Soundly I assume after the way you know…you kept falling asleep on me.” I had to whisper the last part just to in case someone was listening in.

He smiled, “Yeah I slept well enough I suppose.”

Our conversation continued in this manner until we made our way into Professor McGonagall’s Classroom. Who knew what we would be doing today, but I’m sure whatever it was would be difficult as Transfigurations was my hardest subjects. I never knew what was going on in there and I desperately needed help to make it through this year. I always made good marks in it of course, but it was on pure luck alone that I did. On the other hand, this was Ryan’s favorite class. So it was always nice to experience it with him, because he showed such passion while in the classroom that I rarely got to see in everyday life.

Speaking of Ryan, he was currently writing something in his notebook that I don’t think he was to keen on me seeing as he was trying to hide it from me with his shoulder. Ryan and I were sitting in the desk that occupied the back right corner, so I engaged myself by watching the door as the students entered the room and took their seats. As I was sitting there contemplating life or whatever it is you want to call it, Mr. William Beckett strolled in the door. Ryan had just finished whatever it was that he was writing and looked up to see what was holding my attention. When he turned around and saw that it was William that I was staring at I could feel his entire body tense up next to me. ‘This should be interesting’ I thought to myself as we did that sort of acknowledging head nod to one another.

As I watched him take the seat next to me, Ryan slammed his notebook shut and threw it into his bag. I was so confused. I mean yeah, I know I told Ryan that I didn’t have feelings for William but he hadn’t really believed me or had he?

Class began much to my displeasure, although it was a nice change of atmosphere than the minutes prior to the start of class. I rested my head on Ryan’s shoulder when I totally lost all feeling in my brain. Sure enough, by the time Professor McGonagall finished up I was literally brain dead and had no idea what so ever on what was going on. I knew though that I could get Ryan to teach it to me later.

***

The rest of the day was alright, a very typical day at Hogwarts. Care of Magical Creatures was going to be awesome with the three of us in it. Although ever since the little explosion in Transfigurations Ryan had been sort of aloof. I felt it was my fault, and I was more than 100 percent sure that it was, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I felt so helpless. Jon asked me at dinner if I wanted to stop by for a night cap before I went to bed, but I declined. I assumed that alcohol would not help the situation one bit so I was content to part our separate ways and ponder the day’s events. I had attempted to talk to Becky about the whole situation, only to be told that she was to busy with her assignments and that she had to meet up with William in a few minutes to work on some homework together. What the fuck? I mean sure I can understand you being busy and shit, but you can’t listen to me for five minutes while I share my problems with you…you being my best friend?

Spencer seemed to notice during dinner that something was up because he was being overly sensitive to me. He even carried my books along with his up the stairs when I made the comment that my back was sore from carrying them. The more I kept thinking about it though, as I was sitting in the crowded common room, finishing up my homework, Jon’s invitation for a night cap kept sounding better and better. Although, to be honest, I was too lazy to move. Shakespeare and I had miraculously been able to steal Hermione Granger’s chair by the fire place and Crookshanks was giving us both a look that screamed “Eat shit and die bitch!”

Hermione looked sourly at me as well as she was working on her homework. Fuck this, I’m normally a very nice person, but I’m not dealing with this shit. It’s the first day of school…today is supposed to be care free and fun!

I got up and went to my room. Jon better have something worth me freshening up and walking over there. I reapplied some eyeliner and shadow and changed into my street clothes. (Pink Dress, Black Leggings, and Leopard ballet flats), threw on a necklace and was out in a flash. I was crawling through the portrait hole only to be stopped by Ronald.

“Wh-Where are you going?” He was stuttering. He was such a cute little ginger, although the whole Weasley family was cute.

“I’m going out.” I said with a sigh.

“You can’t go out, it’s almost after hours.”

“Why sure I can. I’m only going for a walk I mean, I’ve been sitting there on my ass for what 2 hours doing homework? Besides, I know Hermione probably sent you over here so why don’t you go back to copying her homework and tell her I said to mind her own business.” With that I was through the door. Like I said, I wasn’t taking anymore shit today. I felt bad since that’s the first conversation that I’ve had with Ron since the start of school but I couldn’t help myself. It was like…I don’t know, verbal diarrhea?

I was positive that I’d have some form of punishment for that in the morning since Hermione hated me, but I didn’t care. I was wondering what Ryan was doing as I started my journey over to the puffers room. I walked by our spot, even though it was out of the way. I didn’t expect him to be there but for some odd reason I was hoping he would be. Everything was just so strange…so abnormal. He was the one that I turned to when I couldn’t talk to Becky and we had never been in a situation like this before. I needed him, I needed Becky, but I couldn’t have either of them right now. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to get in the Hufflepuff Common Room when I got there, but to my luck there were a few 7th years entering as I arrived so I walked in with them.

I had been in the Hufflepuff Common Room a fair amount of times usually to see Ryan or Spencer when they were sick, but weren’t sick enough for the hospital wing. I searched around the common room but didn’t see the happy trio anywhere. Time to resort to plan B.

“Ernie?” I called as I saw the boy sitting over in the corner.

“Yeah…” he looked up. “Hey what are you doing here?”

“I need you to run up and get either Jon or Spencer or the both of them for me please.”

“What’s in it for me?” He wasn’t even trying to hide the fact that he was undressing me with his eyes.

“Just do it! I’d hate to think what Jon might do if he knew I came over here and you didn’t tell him I paid him a visit.” Obviously defeated he rolled his eyes and got up. After a few minutes I heard a few doors slam shut and a slightly inebriated Jon stumbled down the stairs.

“Babe! What are you doing here?” Jon’s eyes light up at the sight of me standing there.

“You know what I’m doing here.” He walked over to me and sort of fell/hugged on me. Jon grabbed my bare shoulders and looked me in the eyes.

“Babe, we can’t drink down here…the little ones will see.” He pointed over at a group of 7th years who were clearly used to this sort of behavior.

“Well I can’t go up to your room. So I guess I could just take some back with me if that’s cool.”

“Fuck no it’s not cool. You can’t drink on your own are you psycho? If you’re going to drink you’re going to drink with me! Stay here!”

“Thanks Jon.” He ran upstairs and brought with him Spencer and Ryan. Spencer seemed a little buzzed but was acting more than anything. Although Ryan on the other hand seemed like he would pass out any moment now.

Standing there taking in Ryan’s state I began to panic. What was I doing? What was Ryan doing? Ryan NEVER drinks…I never drink. Why was Ryan drinking? He didn’t have a reason to be drinking!

“WINIFRED!!” Spencer threw his arms around me, while Ryan seemed to be exerting all his energy by just standing there.

I was trying to untangle myself from Spencer’s embrace but was having a little difficulty doing so. “Spence, how much has he drank?” I said it soft enough so only he would hear but he didn’t seem to take the hint.

“Four Butterbeers and three or four shoots of Vodka.” You have got to be kidding me! With his body weight and inexperience with drinking, what were they thinking giving him this much shit? I was going to kill Jon when he was sober or hung over in the morning.

“Ryan! Walk over here to me.” I grabbed the empty couch…it seemed that all the puffers went to bed early. I grabbed a blanket off of a near by chair and laid Ryan down.

“Oh Ryan…” I had never meant to say his name out loud, it just slipped. He was shivering even though I had covered him up. I sat down in the floor in front of him and attempted to keep him warm.

“So Winnie, what’s it going to be” Jon had returned and had a few bottles in each hand.

“You know what Jon; I think I’m going to have to pass.” I said, as I kept rubbing Ryan’s stick thin legs.

“But you came all the way here…it would seem a waste if you didn’t partake.” Jon was starting to sound like a love sick hound, something I wouldn’t normally mind, but I just couldn’t take him seriously in this situation. “I know Jon, but I don’t want it anymore alright.” Plus, I was extremely pissed off.

“Okay, okay. Spence you’re not leaving me too are you?” Jon pouted.

Spencer pondered that question for a moment, “yeah I think so. I’m totally ready for bed. Good Night Winnie.”

“Sleep well Spence.” I called over my shoulder as he made his way up to the boys’ chamber.

With a look of total devastation Jon resigned to bed as well. Jon’s departure left Ryan and me in the company of a few other students. His breathing was steady but a little sluggish. With my warming expertise he had stopped shivering. However, I was afraid he’d passed out and if I didn’t stay there and watch him. Then there was the chance that he could vomit on himself and choke to death…it was the least I could do.

After about half an hour I thought it might be safe to attempt to wake him.

“Ryan honey, I need you to wake up.” I shook him. “Ryan, wake up.” Nothing again, “Ryan…” I was a very scared at this point. “Ryan!” I shook him harder this time.

“GOD DAMN IT Ryan, wake the FUCK UP!” I slapped him as I broke out in tears.

Everyone was staring but I didn’t care. They could freak out or be freaked out it did not matter. Let them tell whoever they wanted to that Winifred Merjos and had finally lost her fucking mind. The only thing I cared about right now was Ryan.

The tears were streaming down my face, “Ryan wake up, I need you to wake up. Honey please…”

I kissed him and continued my vigil for the next three hours. When the clock struck 1 in the morning though, I knew I needed to head back to Gryffindor tower, because as much as I wanted to stay I knew Ryan would hate himself if I got caught because of him. I made sure everything was in order for a night on the couch, placed my ear on his chest to make sure it was working, kissed him firmly on the lips, then left. Little did I know that I was walking being watched as I crawled through the portrait hole.

My chapters always seem so long! :/ Hope you like it, I've had it done for ages. ♥
 
 
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Lindsey Louise: christina stripeslindseylouise on June 28th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC)
I love your long chapters! & this one was especially cute!
Have you been working on this all along? If not, I am really impressed at what you can come up with in a single day.
Great job. I love you.
XO
Natsumi Usui: SQ: HB readpseudoaquatic on June 28th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
I wrote it back in December, I think it took 2 days? I just edited it yesterday after you posted yours.
Thanks! I love you too.