Chapter 11

Walking down to Hogsmeade was a peaceful stroll as always. It wasn't snowing just yet, but it would be soon. Dorcas said she expected it to be snowing by their next Hogsmeade trip, being the one before Christmas. Ines walked with Lily and Mary, Emmeline had gone with some of her Ravenclaw friends and Marlene was going with some Slytherin boy she practically begged to take her. Ines was hardly paying attention to the girls' conversation, as she was too busy watching the boys ahead of her. James and Remus were walking gleefully, quite clearly on their way to Zonkos with Peter jogging to keep up with their large strides. Sirius was nowhere to be seen, as he was off somewhere with Cynthia. Ines had spotted them only once when Cynthia whisked Sirius from breakfast just as Ines had entered.

"Ines," Lily called her name, snapping her out of her trance of wondering what Cynthia's problem was "Were you even listening?". Ines chuckled a bit, "Sorry" she muttered. Dorcas laughed a bit as well, but her laugh quickly turned to a whisper "I heard from one of Gavin's roommates that he's been looking for you, wanted to ask you to Hogsmeade I suppose". The two girls giggled, and Ines stifled a smile, thinking that Dorcas knows more than she's letting on. "Who's his roommate?". Dorcas scoffed a bit, "Who cares?! Gavins trying to get you on a date and you want to know how I know that?!". Ines didn't respond, waiting for Dorcas to get over her dramatics "Cuthbert Mockridge." Dorcas deadpanned, Ines, laughed "The bloke who tried to teach me charms? When he scraped an 'Acceptable' on his O.W.L?" Lily scoffed at this, but Dorcas didn't find it as funny, "He may have been trying to get into your pants then, but now he's trying to get Gavin into your pants!". Ines laughed, walking where the girls led her until she realized they were at the entrance to the Three Broomsticks. Ines turned to Lily, "I thought you said you needed to grab more parchment?". Lily giggled, stealing a sly glance to Dorcas "I do, but you need to go into the pub.". Ines rolled her eyes, "Fine, as long as you get me sugar quills.". Dorcas rolled her eyes playfully, "Forget the sugar quills, just go.".

The Three Broomsticks was packed, mainly with Hogwarts students enjoying their free afternoon, but also with a variety of magical people that Ines rarely saw anywhere else. Ines supposed that considering Hogsmeade was the only all-wizard village in Britain, it was a bit of a haven for creatures like hags, who were not as adept as wizards at disguising themselves. It was very hard to move through crowds but she eventually edged slowly toward a table in the corner that Gavin was sitting at. He was quite visibly nervous, bobbing his leg up and down. He slowed and a smile spread across his face when Ines approached. "Funny seeing you here" she joked, sitting across from him. He chuckled, blushing. Madame Rosmerta approached them, looking for Gavin to Ines, confused, before asking what they would like. They each got a butterbeer and she set off, stealing one last glance before shaking her head.

In the time it took for their butterbeers to arrive, Sawyer Davies and his girlfriend beside them had started kissing over the table. But Ines didn't really mind. Sawyer had taken Ines on a date the year previous to a walk around the Black Lake, something Ines didn't enjoy as he then proceeded to jam his tongue down her throat the second they reached the Ravenclaw tower entrance. It seemed as though this Hufflepuff girlfriend didn't mind though. Sipping on their drinks, they spoke about Gavins N.E.W.T.S. He was looking for someone to help him with the Herbology section, and Ines recommended Remus which he greatly appreciated.

When their conversation had moved from N.E.W.T.S to the pompous first year named Gilderoy, Ines spotted something out the window. Sirius was walking alongside Cynthia, who was draped across his arm, practically already snogging him. He was holding a bag from Gladrags Wizardwear, holding something he no doubt bought for Cynthia. She felt her face growing hot and tried staring anywhere but our window, but she was so flustered it was hard. To postpone the moment when she would have to look at Gavin, she stared up at the ceiling as though examining the paintwork. After a few more painful minutes, Gavin mentioned Trelawney. Ines seized on the subject with relief and they passed a few happy moments abusing her, but the subject had already been so thoroughly canvassed during their other conversations that it did not last very long. Silence fell again. Ines was very conscious of the slurping noises coming from the table next door and cast wildly around for something else to say. It was raining now, but Gavin didn't seem to notice as he asked if she wanted to head back up towards the castle. They exited the pub and turned right and broke into a splashy run, and within minutes she was turning up the path towards the castle with Gavin by her side. She knew it was too early for any students to be back, as the time they were given was far from over. She shook her wet hair out of her eyes and saw Sirius further up the path with Cynthia. They seemed glued together at the lips, Sirius hand was snaked around her back and Cynthia's hand was running through Sirius' hair. Ines stood still, no longer caring about the pouring rain drenching her clothes.

"Ines?" Gavin asked, Ines turned to him, he was looking right at her, he hadn't seen Sirius and Cynthia. She was going to kiss him, and she was going to regret it. But at that moment, she couldn't bring herself to care. She stood on her toes and stole a soft kiss from his lips. He was surprised for a second, not moving, then he leaned down and kissed her back, his mouth lingering on mine, teeth grazing her lower lip, making her shiver. It was at first almost as if he hadn't wanted to kiss her. His mouth was hard on hers, unyielding; then he put both arms around her and pulled her against him. His lips softened. She could feel the rapid beat of his heart, taste the sweetness of butterbeer still on his mouth. She wound her hands into his hair, mimicking Cynthia. His hair curled around her fingers, silky and fine. Her heart was hammering, and there was a rushing sound in her ears, like beating wings. They broke apart, Gavin stared down at Ines, but she couldn't look at him. Not when there was a boy feet away, that she was unsure of whether he saw what had just happened. He laughed, and she put on her brightest smile before grabbing his hand and walking up to the castle.