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Chrissy gets girl germs - complete

Who: Chris and Alicia, with a npced Tracey Davis
Where: Outside the library
When: Thursday evening
Rating: PG for the solving of Chris's mistletoe problem

* *

Christopher Summerby really, REALLY did not like the situation about the school with the mistletoe. Particularly the sprig of it that was gleefully following him around as he slunk down the hallway towards the library. There HAD to be some sort of spell to undo the charms on the mistletoe, right? After all, there had to be some sort of charm to make the mistletoe follow people around until said people got kissed in the first place.

Somewhat distracted by these thoughts, he failed to notice the smirking blonde girl coming down the hall from the other direction until it was too late to avoid interaction.

"Awwww, you have mistletoe over your head, sweetheart," Tracey Davis, with a grin of enjoyment on her face, pointed towards the diabolical sprig of Christmas cheer floating a few inches over Chris' head. "Need some help with that?"

"Ack!" NOT someone he wanted to deal with right now!! "Ummmm... no?"

"Awww," Tracey laughed. "Are you sure about that? You look rather distressed."

“He’s fine.” Alicia Spinnet poked her head out of the library door, an uncharacteristic look of annoyance on her face. She had responded to Christopher’s latest (and rather distressed) entry and instantly put two and two together. “Or rather, he would be if people weren’t propositioning him in the school corridors. You know, we complain about the likes of Oakby harassing us. Did it ever occur to you that it may be equally unpleasant when the shoe is on the other foot?” She stopped and folded her arms grimly, her prefect’s badge glinting on her jacket.

"Oh dear," Tracey swallowed a chuckle. "Certainly it must be unpleasant. But don't fret, darling. It was merely an offer to help the poor, adorable Chrissy in his plight. He seems rather upset by it. Least I could do, though if he has anyone else he'd rather snog, that's fine by me too."

“‘Anyone else he’d rather snog’?” Alicia repeated, but Tracey Davis had already left. “Oh, never mind then,” she muttered with an irritated shrug, grasping Christopher’s hand and pulling him away from the library doors. “You can get your books later. This is getting ridiculous.”

"I... umm, I wanted to see if there's some sort of information on whatever spell must be on the mistletoe," Chris rambled, horribly embarrassed. "I mean, it's got to have a counterspell, most things do, and... ummm...."

“If it has a counterspell, it’s a rather obscure one,” Alicia explained grimly as she marched the two of them along the hallway. “I checked. And then I had to ask George to help me. That was embarrassing. And now you have one and it’s clearly affecting your studies.”

Kissing George had been rather odd, but not unbearable. He had been decent about it and had even given her a conciliatory hug beforehand , and the kiss in itself had been no more than a chaste, close-mouthed peck. It wasn’t something she thought back on with more than a moderate amount of embarrassment or awkwardness. She did not have that manner of feelings towards either Weasley twin. It was more that it felt like something that just wasn’t mean to be, like tomato sauce on toast or hot soup on a summer’s beach. Both things were fine individually and splendid with the right items, but simply didn’t work together.

As they continued to walk, she added, “This thing is causing a great inconvenience for everyone, whether they’ve been afflicted or not. People who have one are either going out of their way to be kissed by the person they fancy or alternatively-” a look over her shoulder at the Hufflepuff “-are holing themselves away to avoid being kissed. I daresay the spell will wear off eventually, but until then it’s a bloody nuisance.”

"I just..." Chris lowered his eyes bashfully, "I'm not trying to be some sort of weird, mean person. It's just that I don't really want to kiss some random girl just because I have mistletoe floating over my head. Particularly if I don't know her well. Or if she just thinks I'm funny and likes to ruffle my hair or whatever-- which I still don't understand, by the way-- and... umm, I don't want to be taken by surprise. Sarah likes to sneak up on me because she's... well, she's Sarah."

“Most blokes wouldn’t mind being kissed by Sarah. Not that there’s anything wrong with not wanting to be, of course.” She had pulled him into a desert alcove. She discovered that she was feeling rather out of breath and a tad jittery, her hands hot and clammy. “Well then, you can’t continue with those girls annoying you and not feeling like you can’t walk where you please,” she rambled, rocking back and forwards on her toes, “and I’m a prefect, and I should be encouraging people to take advantage of their studies. It wouldn’t do any good if someone couldn’t get to the library and their classes and I just stood by and let it happen. So…” Taking a deep breath, she placed her hands on his upper arms and leant forward to kiss him.

Chris was about to protest that it wasn't that he hated Sarah, or any of the other girls, exactly, when she grasped his arms and leaned in. His eyes widened and his breath caught, and then he didn't have time to think or react before she'd pressed her lips against his. Somehow, despite the reasoning she'd given and the shock of it all, he managed to kiss her back, just a quick peck, but it nonetheless was more than sufficient to jolt him. The plant, apparently appeased, floated away from his head towards another doorway.

“Well, um, well…” Now this was awkward. She shoved her hands into her pockets, not quite meeting his eye. “I just got sick of people teasing you. I suppose you better get off to the library, although-” her cheeks stained red “-the book you were looking for is now rather superfluous.”

"I..." Chris felt that he had to say SOMETHING. To explain himself. Or to apologise. Or to thank her. Or... anything, really, because that would only be fair to her, right? "I'm... umm, glad. That you helped me. And... umm, thank you for that even though I'm sure you'd better things to do. And... I didn't completely mean to kiss you back if that alarmed you. It just sort of happened. And... I'm sorry, if you're upset, and I hope you're not so upset that... you're going to start hating me or something. And... well, am I keeping you from something?"

She was about to open her mouth and protest that of course she wouldn’t hate him for kissing her back when she realized what he had said. A lot of times people meant it when they asked if they were keeping you from something, but over the years she had learned – particularly from the children of her mother’s friends and colleagues – that it was a polite shorthand of being tired of your present company and sending them on their way. “Well, yes, actually I do have several scrolls for Potions and Charms to write,” she said with a wry smile, trying too hard to keep her disappointment from her face to analyze just why it was there. Of course someone like Christopher Summerby, who swam and lifeguarded and had the sunbleached hair and build to match, wouldn’t want to talk to her. “I – I’d better be going now. Goodnight.” She adjusted the strap of her bag – more as an excuse to duck her head than because it really needed to be – and turned to leave.

"I mean... it was really really nice of you, to help me out, that is, when I'm sure there'd be plenty of other boys who would've been glad for the chance. Er. To be kissed by you, that is." Somehow that slipped out before he could help himself. He wondered if she'd excuse him if he covered his burning cheeks with his hands. "I... umm, don't want to be a bother, particularly if you've homework."

“It’s alright,” she said, giving him a curious look. Now he was contradicting himself. One minute he seemingly wanted to get rid of her, and the next he was blushing. She didn’t have a clue on how to make sense of this. “But really. You make me sound as if I’m someone like Tracey Davis or Sarah Kim, and really I’m not.” George had been virtually the first boy she had kissed, but she thought that better not to say out loud.

"Oh, no! Not like that," Chris said hastily, staring down at the ground. "I mean, you're... well, you're a nice person. And smart. And pretty. And a good Quidditch player and all those things. I didn't mean that you were loud or liked to ruffle hair and so on. Just that... well, lots of people must like you a great deal."

“Thank you,” Alicia said graciously. Internally she was caught. Her mind had too much to make sense of and she wanted to get away, and yet there was something nice about being close to Chris. She bit her lip and tried to think of a way to make an exit.

"You're... umm, quite welcome," Chris was still blushing, but managed a miniscule smile. "I'm sorry I'm so awkward in these situations." He really didn't want to say that it was because not only was she a girl, but she was the girl with all the qualities he'd just mentioned earlier, which made her... well, it would not be fair to say that she was a scary person, because she WASN'T. Nerve-wracking, perhaps.

“And what kind of situation would that be?” she asked, rubbed her hand over her eyes. Then, worried that may have been too abrupt, she added, “I’m sorry. But I really don’t understand you right now.”

"No, I'm sorry," Chris stammered. "I just seem to have a tendency to ramble when talking to you, which is somewhat awkward, but I guess it's because of all the things I mentioned before, which... I should not let it make me act like an utter idiot, but..."

“Christopher-” she tilted her head to one side and gave him a quizzical look “-are you…are you by any chance interested in me?”

Chris was fairly sure that his face must be redder than her Quidditch kit by now. "I... umm..."

“Don’t worry.” Alicia ran a hand through her hair. “You don’t have to answer that.” And then, deciding that she didn’t want to humiliate herself any further, she turned and finally set off down the hall. Her knuckles were white against the black strap of her bag as she fought to maintain her composure.

He watched her walk away, wide-eyed, swallowed what felt like a huge bundle of nerves, and then, not quite sure what he was doing, perhaps, he caught up with her, and reached her side, laying a hand on her arm. In a fleeting moment of slightly desperate bravery, he managed to meet her eyes and not stare at the ground. "The answer is yes. But that's just... to tell you. You needn't do anything about it."

“Um…I…thank you.” She had to avert her eyes for a moment as she was blinking back tears, and the surprise of him having caught up with her had almost made them spill over. The unexpectedness of all her emotions, how she had never expected to feel so hurt and confused and surprised all at once about a boy like Chris, made her almost lose it a second time, but she took a few calming breaths and gradually the awareness of what he had just said seeped in. She realized that she had been grasping his sleeve for support. “And I’m sorry for acting so oddly. I suppose I’m just a little overtired. But I – I wouldn’t mind if you did decide to do something about it.”

He looked visibly distressed at the hint of dampness in her eyes. "I'm sorry if I upset you, because that's the last thing that I'd want to do, and... perhaps if you're tired you should rest, and take care of yourself and so on. And please, please don't be sad, okay?" Then the last bit of what she said registered, and it was the oddest thing to feel happy and so nervous at the same time. "I'm not at all good with dealing with girls," he admitted candidly. "I'm never quite sure what to do."

“Alright.” She accepted this with a nod, still feeling a bit overwhelmed. “Could you – would it be alright if I hugged you? I mean, I know it’s an odd thing to ask after I just kissed you, but you don’t seem to like people touching you and, yes…” She did need one badly, but didn’t say so, because she was Alicia Spinnet and not used to putting her own wants first, and because such an admission would put the poor boy on the spot, which was the last thing she wanted to do.

"Okay," he smiled diffidently. "And... it's nice of you to ask. It's not so much that I hate people touching me as, well, some people just seem to do it all the time and I don't understand it, it seems really silly, and... yeah." He cut himself off before he could ramble any more, and carefully wrapped his arms around her.

Well. This was…not how she had expected things to turn out. Gradually she relaxed into him, putting her head on her shoulder and allowing her eyes to slide half-shut as the tension eased out of her. When she pulled away, it was with a genuine smile. “Thank you,” she said. “I needed that. It’s been a long day. Are you – are you going home for Christmas?” she asked in an attempt at conversation.

"You... you're welcome," he returned her smile a bit shakily, but with a wider one than earlier. "I'm... yes. There won't be too many visitors around, I don't think, as it'd be the wrong time of year, but my mum would still expect me to go home and help out and stuff."

“I’m going back home as well,” she said. “To Manchester. My brother will be there with his wife and my nephew as well. It will be nice to see everyone again.” She glanced at her watch, which read half-past eight. “But we ought to get going now. I’ll see you – well, I’ll see you sometime. Maybe we could work on Charms together this weekend?”

"Umm, sure, that'd be nice," Chris answered, taking a step back. "I'd like that, and... well, thanks. For being nice about the mistletoe, and... everything else. And also just for being you." The last thing seemed kind of a silly thing to thank someone for, but he wasn't quite sure the best way to put it.

Alicia answered him with a beam that managed to be bashful, embarrassed, touched yet thrilled all at the same time. She squeezed his hand and turned down the hall, breaking into a jog for Gryffindor Tower once she’d turned the corner.

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