While checking my watch I realize I have ten minutes to get down to the Hufflepuff common room to meet Cedric. I jump up from the floor and walk over to my closet.
“What are you doing?” Beatrice asks while sitting up from her position on the floor.
“I’m meeting up with Cedric, remember?”
She clicks her tongue as she remembers and then I see through my mirror her and Scarlet exchanging snickers.
“What are you guys on about?” I turn away from my closet and face them.
Their cheeky expressions forcing me to narrow my eyes at them and then Scarlet sits up as well. She gives Beatrice one last look and then focuses her attention on me.
“I guess I’ll just come out and say it,” she starts to build suspense. “When are you finally just going to get with Cedric?”
“What?!” I defend.
I immediately turn back to my closet to hide the panic in my face.
Cedric and I have known each other forever. He’s the person I go to when I need a comforting shoulder or when I need someone to cheer me up. Of course, I’ve thought about more with him but what girl hasn’t, he’s perfect. He is everything every girl in this school wants which makes just the mere thought of wanting him a competition. Plus, he doesn’t even want me in that way... right?
“Oh come on Arabella, we see the way you look at him.” Beatrice stands up.
“Put us out of our misery,” Scarlet begs excessively.
“I-I don’t know what you guys are talking about.” I grab a random coat from my closet while avoiding their gazes so they don’t see how flustered I am. “I don’t want to be late.” I chuckle nervously before rushing out of the dorm.
When I reach the corridor just before the Hufflepuff common room I see Cedric leaning against the stone wall across from me, talking to a group of 6th-year girls. And they’re just giggling and laughing away like a bunch of dumb airheads at whatever he’s saying.
I lean up against the stone wall that’s closest to me and just observe them. The blonde directly in front of him is twirling her hair with one finger while occasionally using her other hand to brush against his bicep every time he says something slightly funny. The two other girls that are at his side resort to other tactics.
After a few agonizing minutes, his honey-colored eyes look my way and he stands up straight. He says one last thing to the girls and then swiftly starts towards me. I try to keep my attention on him but the deadly stares I’m getting from the three bimbos are kind of hard to ignore.
“Wow, you’ve got a whole crowd,” I joke while nodding to the girls.
His laugh dismisses my comment and then he joins my side.
“Have you been waiting long?” he asks.
“Only a few minutes.”
“So... how was your summer?” I ask softly.
“For the most part, it was good but there were certain people I missed.” He nudges my shoulder.
A chill goes down my spine.
I peel away from the wall and start to slowly walk down the corridor. He follows and then catches up to my side.
“How was your summer?” he asks while connecting his hands behind his back.
“Boring,” I huff. “I mainly just spent time with Wyatt and Stasia” I add.
“How are your brother and his fiance?”
“They’re doing amazing. Stasia wouldn’t shut up about the wedding and ‘how perfect it’s going to be because it’s a winter wedding’ blah blah,” I reply.
Cedric laughs at my mimicking of Stasia.
There aren’t many students out because of the rain which basically gives us the entire castle to ourselves. Cedric and I continue to talk about our summer. I ask him about quidditch and he asks me about my classes while we lazily roam around the corridors.
It feels so good to talk to him again. To occasionally get a hint of his cologne. To hear his laugh.
“Bella?” Cedric’s voice pulls me out of my daydream. “Do want to?” he asks.
“Go to the Astronomy tower, I’m tired of walking,” he explains.
“Sure,” I respond.
We make our way to The Astronomy tower and as we’re walking up the spiraling stairs a catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing view.
I walk over to the railing and place both hands on the cold steel. The rain calmed just in time for the sunset and the clouds had cleared, allowing a golden glow to cast over The Astronomy tower.
Cedric moves to my side and I admire the way the light catches his hair and eyes. What I would give to be able to brush that straying lock of hair from his face. Maybe Scarlet and Beatrice are right?
“Can I ask you a question?” I ask him.
“Go for it,” he replies.
“Why don’t you have a girlfriend, Ced?”
He chuckles at my bluntness and then turns away from the sunset and leans his back against the railing.
“Why? Are you interested in the position?” he snickers.
“Oh yeah. I just can’t get enough of Cedric Diggory,” I exaggerate by laying the back of my hand on my forehead.
He laughs again.
“No but in all seriousness. Every girl throws herself at you, yet you don’t seem to ever show interest in them.”
He shrugs. ” I guess I haven’t found someone who I really like yet.”
He flashes that bright smile at me. The smile that makes every girl’s underwear drop.
“Bloody hell, get a room,” someone says from across the tower.
I dart my head to the familiar voice only to see Draco looking at both of us with a stupid smirk. Cedric’s body tenses when he sees Draco and he pushes away from the railing.
“Fuck off Malfoy,” Cedric says while grabbing my hand and pulling me away from the railing.
My nerves ignite the second he touches me.
Draco doesn’t say anything and instead of looking at Cedric, he’s looking directly at me. I try my hardest to focus on Cedric leading me out of The Tower but I can’t help sneak a few glimpses of Dracos odd expression. It’s anger, no doubt. But I can’t decipher the rest of his emotions.
“He’s such a prick,” Cedric says as we begin to walk down the corridor.
“Ced!” I hear multiple voices shout from behind us.
I hadn’t realized that we were still holding hands until he lets go of mine when he hears the voices from behind us.
I turn around and see a few of his mates heading in our direction. Then he turns to me.
“I’ll see you in The Hall.” He rushes towards his friends.
This has been such a weird day.
When I arrive at The Hall just in time for dinner I immediately start to look for Scarlet and Beatrice. Instead, I somehow notice Oliver Wood starring at me. His eyes are inspecting every curve of my body and I can’t help but feel like an ant under a magnifier.
“What’s up with Wood?” Beatrice asks as she reaches my side.
“I’m not sure,” I respond hesitantly.
Scarlet wraps her arm around mine and directs Beatrice and me to the Slytherin table. We finish eating and head up to our dorm. We get ready for bed and finish up our lists and then we pass out due to how tired we are.
The next morning I’m woken up by an extremely happy but scary Beatrice. She decided to wake me up how we had woken Scarlet up the morning before. She was so excited about the scavenger hunt that she couldn’t wait. The sound of waking me up happened to wake up Scarlet and since we were already up we decided to exchange lists. We all sit on my bed in a circle and we handed each other the list we made.
“I have to kiss Fred Weasley?” Beatrice yelps out along with a gasp as she looks at the rest of her list.
“Oh my Merlin, you guys freaks!” Scarlet shouts. I let out a loud laugh.
I start looking through my list and the first thing my eye catches is, ” Go skinny dipping...“. I am screaming in my head. I look at Beatrice with my mouth slightly parted in shock and she just there in a fit of laughs.
￫Kiss a boy from another house in an empty classroom
￫Snog a quidditch Captain
￫Get a hickey from a boy of your choosing
￫Give your panties to a boy of your choosing
￫Go skinny dipping with a boy of your choosing
￫Give head to a boy from another house
￫Kiss a girl in front of a Slytherin boy
￫Lose your virginity to someone of your choosing
We take a few more minutes to examine our lists and then we decide to get ready.
I put on a green plaid skirt that hugs my waist and hips. I put on a black button-up shirt and then add a sweater over the button-up. The weather is less stormy but it’s raining again. I french braid my hair and put on some light makeup with my cherry lipgloss.
Before I can look in the mirror Scarlet pulls me by my arm out the door while telling me I look great and that she”s starving. We enter the dining hall and, just as if it was yesterday, a lot of people have their eyes on me.
Did I really change that much?
We sit down and start eating and as I look up I see Draco staring at me from the other end of the Slytherin table. I thought he was going to smile at me but after that second had passed he looked back at Blaise who he was originally talking to. I shake my head and put myself back into the conversation Scarlet and Beatrice were having.
“There he is,” says Beatrice as she nods her head towards the Gryffindor table. “He’s so cute,” she whines while resting her head in the palm of her hands.
For a second I can’t figure out who she’s talking about and then I realize it’s Fred Weasley. I tease her with sarcastic ooh and ahh sounds.
“What are we going to do for the prize?” I ask.
“Laundry for a month?” Scarlet says.
“No way.” Beatrice pulls her head up from her hands. “If I’m going to put myself in such a suicidal position, we need to come up with an amazing prize,” she adds.
“What about the winner chooses an extreme dare for each of the losers?” Beatrice smirks evilly.
“Like what type of dare?” I ask.
She clears her throat. “For example, when I win I’ll make you ask out Cedric.”
My heart begins to thump.
A smile widens Scarlet’s mouth. “I’m in.”
My eyes dart to her and then I cross my arms.
“I am not doing that.”
“What? Are you scared?” Scarlet teases.
“No. I just think it’s stupid.”
That may or may not be the biggest lie I’ve ever told.
“C’mon Bella, it’s two against three and if you do win don’t you want to watch us suffer?” Beatrice eggs me on.
I switch my gazes between them for a beat.
“Fine,” I finally say.
When we finish our breakfast I decide to get to work. We’re all equally competitive and I’m not going to let either of them win this scavenger hunt.
Snogging a quidditch captain would be the easiest. It narrows down my targets and it’s easier to choose. It was either Roger Davis, the Ravenclaw Captain. Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor captain. Marcus Flint, the Slytherin captain. Zach Smith, the Hufflepuff captain. Flint is an automatic no because of those Godric awful teeth, Smith is on the same team as Cedric plus I don’t know him that well. And Davis is taken so that leaves Wood. Oliver Wood. He’s cute and single which is perfect. I can’t help myself but think back to how he was looking at me. That sprinkle of lust in his eyes. If I’m right about how he was looking at me, snogging him should be easy.
The Gryffindor team is practicing this afternoon and when it stops raining I head out to the quidditch patch. I go and sit in the bleachers and read while waiting. I know it sounds creepy but I’m hoping I can explain to Oliver what is going on and see if he’s up for the challenge. If not, then I guess my next plan is Smith.
I take a seat on one of the higher bleachers so that Oliver doesn’t see me at first. The air is crisp and the bleachers are still a little damp. I can feel the coldness accidentally reach my thigh as I sit down and a shiver runs down my back.
After getting lost in my book I feel someone sit next to me on the bleacher. Their breathing is rather heavy and they smell of pine needles and cologne. I see Oliver sitting right next to me when I lift my head and my breath hitches.
“Hey, Arabella. What’s brought you up here today?” he asks as a small smile appears across his lips.
“Did the practice end already?” I say without answering his question.
“I decided to let people go a little bit early since classes start tomorrow.” The charm in his voice is refreshing.
I can see his eyes wander to my lips as he’s talking and he just stares at them for a few seconds.
This might be easier than I expected.
“So...why are you here?” he asks again, bringing his gaze back up to my eyes.
“I...I’m here to ask you for a favor.” I say with a quiet voice. Feeling as if his eyes are going to burn a hole right through me.
“I know it sounds stupid but my friends and I are doing this scavenger hunt and...um...one of the things is to snog a quidditch captain,” I explain timidly.
Oliver starts to smile and I swear I see his eyes sparkle. He rubs the back of his neck as he looks down and lets out a nervous laugh.
“A scavenger hunt, huh?” he asks keeping his smile.
“What’s the prize?” he asks.
“The losers have to complete a brutal dare given by the winner.”
He presses his lips into a fine line while he thinks over what I’m asking.
“You don’t half to, if you don’t want to,” I reassure him.
“I’ll do it.”
He suddenly takes my hand and leads me down under the bleachers. As we walk down the steps he caresses my hand with his thumb and I can’t help but smile. He pulls me toward him as he turns toward me. He releases his grasp from my hand and moves it to my lower back. His other hand cups my cheek and tilts my face up to meet his gaze. He’s a lot taller than me and those chocolate brown eyes make me want to melt.
He gently brushes his lips against mine and butterflies start to grow inside me. He starts to softly kiss my lips and I can’t believe how fast this is happening. The kiss starts to grow more and more intense, eventually, he starts to use his tongue. He tastes amazing.
He tightens his grip on me and starts to lift me a little and I know what he is hinting at. I wrap my legs around him as he lifts me more and then he pins me against the wall. Oliver gently starts to slow down the kiss and pulls away. We don’t say anything for a few seconds and we just look at each other in silence. I unwrap my legs from his waist and my feet touch the ground.
My lungs feel so heavy. I can not believe how quickly that left my control. He just kissed me. Just like that. There was no awkwardness or no nerves. It was just our lips...together.
✓Snog a quidditch captain
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