Chapter 25: October
October came all too fast. It had become noticeably cold and the lingered atmosphere of Halloween was approaching just a few weeks shy. Not only that, but the obvious excitement of the first Quidditch match of the year was getting close. Erela still managed to juggle her social life with Michael in between school and the ever so odd duo she had become rather close with. She kind of wondered why her friends were the odd energetic ones. Stacee was the calmest of the three, but still odd whenever Landon became playful.
Erela and Landon were eating dinner in the Great Hall, Erela had her textbook and parchment in front of her during her meal. "I swear those things are permanently glued to your nose," Landon commented.
"Hm?" Erela pried her eyes from her textbook.
"It's rare to find you doing something else or nothing at all. For as long as I can remember you've always been reading or practicing spells. Don't you have any hobbies?"
"Reading is a hobby . . ."
"I paint sometimes," she shrugged. "Not here, of course."
"So in other words, no you don't have a hobby when you're at Hogwarts," he chuckled.
"School comes first."
"Yeah, but it can't be a full-time job. I'm surprised you haven't burned out yet."
"High mental endurance?"
"Dweeb," he shook his head.
Erela rolled her eyes and looked away from the freckled boy that sat across from her to the entrance of the Great Hall, Stacee stood with another girl. Erela leaned a little closer in interest and saw that the boy's hair had changed into a light pink color, a couple shades lighter than his usual pinkish purple hair. He seemed a little more confident than usual and was obviously rolling his eyes at the Gryffindor girl with a smile on his face.
"Ever seen her before?" she asked.
Landon looked to the same direction as Erela and found his colorful friend with a girl their age. "I think her name is Laila," he said.
Well, at least her name would be easy to remember. It would be awkward if she awkwardly talked about her cat when in actuality the girl was the subject. Erela just knew that would happen.
"She's the keeper for Gryffindor and the mood ring's crush since some time last year," Landon continued.
"Well that explains his hair being a lighter shade of pink," Erela chuckled and looked back at Stacee and Laila. Laila had sandy blonde hair, dark green eyes from what Erela could see, athletically lean built, and possibly half a foot shorter than Stacee. Overall, she was pretty. "You think he's been disappearing to flirt with her this whole time?"
"Stacee doesn't flirt," Landon laughed. "He makes witty and sarcastic conversation."
"He's like that with us."
"Yeeeeeeeeah, but his witty and sarcastic personality around her is "special"," Landon started in a mocked sighed.
"How romantic," Erela rolled her eyes. "His hair changing color is a dead giveaway. Has she noticed?"
"I don't know," Landon shrugged. "She's not constantly around, so she probably hasn't noticed that the color right now isn't his natural shade."
His hair changed color so often it was hard to keep up. Although it was rather easy to read what his mood was due to his genetic makeup. Erela chuckled quietly and stabbed her food when she felt something bite her ear. "Ow," she hissed and looked around, only to find Mable walk away toward the Ravenclaw table. "Bitch . . ."
Landon rolled his eyes with a sigh and finished the last bit of his lunch. "She's like that normally. You'll get used to it."
"I don't understand how you were able to deal with that," Erela shook her head and started to pack her things.
Landon pursed his lips and ran his fingers through his mess of light brown hair. "It's difficult to say."
Is it now?, Erela thought to herself. "I have time for a long complicated story," she shrugged.
"It's not that it's complicated. It's simple. I'm just not comfortable talking about it," he said.
Still? Well . . . not that Erela could understand. Single and hadn't even had her first kiss yet, like she could understand what heartbreak felt like or how torturous and hard it was to get over someone they once dated.
"Oh . . . right, sorry," Erela muttered and shouldered her bag awkwardly.
The two walked in silence for a while, much longer than usual in fact. Usually Landon was the one that changed subjects after five seconds of no one talking. That time it felt like ten minutes of quiet. Maybe it was shorter but felt much longer than it actually was. Either way, it felt unbearably long.
"Uuuuuh, so . . . are you going to that Quidditch match this weekend?" Landon finally asked hesitantly.
"Oh, um . . . yeah. I was thinking about it," she flustered like Landon.
"Cause . . . well, you know. Stacee might want to go to watch Laila or whatever, you know?" he shrugged.
"Yeah," Erela nodded. "Yes, definitely," she started and looked away. Why was she behaving so feverishly? She had been doing nothing but socializing with the boy and had managed to talk to him normally. Suppose it was only a matter of time.
"Uuuummm . . ." Landon started and messed with his hair. "Fuck . . ." he sighed and Erela looked up to him questionably. He looked rather flushed and nervous. What was he thinking about?
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Yeah . . ." he sighed quietly and shoved his hands in his pocket. "Just thinking . . ."
"Feel like sharing your thoughts?"
Landon smiled and shook his head. "Nope."
"Can I have a hint?"
"Well then how can I guess if I don't get a hint?"
"Sounds like a personal problem, brown eyes," Landon laughed.
"Come on, that's not fair," Erela groaned.
"You're smart, you'll figure it out," he chuckled.
Erela rolled her eyes at him. "Think you're so sly."
The boy nodded. "You'll figure it out," he said and crawled into the barrel to the Hufflepuff common room.
Erela merely sighed and crawled in just behind him. Just when she felt the soft carpet, Landon took her hand and pulled her up. Once on her feet, Erela felt as if his hand lingered seconds longer before gently letting go. Something about the way he did that sent her heart racing and her face flush to dark red. She swore if she were like Stacee, her hair would change to the brightest pink imaginable. She looked up at him, and just as quickly, Landon dropped his eyes and looked toward the boys' side of the room.
"I'm turning in for the night. I'll see you tomorrow?" Landon started.
"Yeah . . ." she nodded. And before he left, Erela noticed a tint of pink that glowed on his cheeks. She remained in the common room and rubbed the hand Landon had touched gently. Guess, his voice echoed. "I'm getting way too ahead of myself . . ." she mumbled to herself.