What: A run-in in Diagon Alley
Holden Chambers ducked through the doorway of the apothecary, which was obviously not built with those of own height in mind. He knelt right outside and swung off his backpack, beginning to hopelessly try and shove his new supplies into it. He had to take out his Transfiguration text in order to get it zipped, but managed to hoist the weight back onto his back and still manage to continue walking at a normal pace. This seemed to be his annual routine - buying supplies last minute, always the most awkward looking student there, not bothering to put on much more than his most worn pair of jeans. He whistled a tune as he bustled down the crowded street, looking out for someplace less expensive he might be able to get his scrolls and quills, when he absentmindedly stumbled over a group of children who couldn't have been more than his age when he'd started school.He watched in horror as his brand new textbook fell right into a puddle, soon enveloped in the muddy mess. "Bullocks." He muttered, reaching up to clasp his forehead as the group skirted off before he could do anything.
Liz walked down the busy street of Diagon Alley, finishing up her school shopping. She had been here at least three times this week, but being as absentminded as she was she had to keep running back for forgotten supplies. Halfway down the road, she encountered a bustling group of soon to be first years and walked briskly to the side in order to avoid them. After the mass cleared, Liz was surprised to see one of her own housemates looking rather aggravated. Walking over to him, Liz bent down and quickly picked up the soiled book, digging into one of her bags for a napkin and wiping it off. "Here you go Holden." she said, holding it out to him.
Holden simply stood stationary, wondering just how to tackle this dilemma. He could buy another one, but then he'd have to come back with more Galleons the next day, and his parents would be fuming. Normally, he'd have used magic to clean it but the holiday disabled him from such a thing. Just as he began to go for it, however, a familiar face met his, rather apologetically. He swallowed hard, reaching to take the book from her and forcing a smile. Of course, he'd expected he might run into some classmates here, but he quickly felt his throat going dry. Certain... people... he had difficulties with in sical situations. "Oh... t-thanks, Elizabeth." He stammered, wiping the edges on his jeans. "I'm... sort of clumsy, I guess."
Liz laughed, wiping her hands on her pants to get rid of the mud "It happens to the best of us, hell, I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time." Noticing how awkward he was standing, Liz opened his bag and removed a few books. "You looked like you were going to collapse. " she said, explaining "Oh, and its just Liz. Unless you're my grandmother...and you don't smell like cabbage." laughing a bit more, she turned to Holden and adjusted some of the books in her hands "So where are you off to?"
Holden started as she reached into his bag, blushing furiously and attempting to snatch his belongings back from her. "You- you really don't have to." He sighed defeatedly, and chuckled nervously at her joke. "Right. Liz." 'Great job, Holden. You've really made a great fool out of yourself already.' He thought. "I was just about to buy... quills." He motioned up the rode, before looking back down at her. "You know, I really can handle those. I've done it before."
"Oh shush, I'm done shopping and the rest of my day is free. Besides, did you really want to spend the whole day alone?" the question was obviously rhetorical, and as soon as Holden motioned up the road she started towards the shop, attempting to make small talk "So, how was your summer?"
Holden couldn't believe what was happening. She obviously wanted to spend the time with him, but why? They hadn't spoken much more than a hello at any given time in the past six years they'd been in the same House. As he caught up to her, he reached up and tried pitifully to flatten his hair. To be perfectly honest, Holden Chambers was not incredibly good with females. In fact, it could be said that he was absolutely horrendous at socializing with them in any way. "Erm... well, we didn't do much. Went to Ireland. That's about it..." He muttered, watching his feet as he took quick strides, looking up now and then for a shop. "And you?" He added quickly, to be polite, but soon after interjecting and not even allowing her to answer. "Do you know where this shop is? I forget every year but they have the best quills and they always have a large display in the window.." He looked at her and bit his lip, realizing what he'd just done. "Not to be rude... I-I'm sorry."
Liz grinned, looking up at the much taller boy "It's up here, the one with the gold sign right? I bought my own there yesterday." Liz wrinkled her forehead at his nervous behaviour "Are you alright? You seem jittery." elbowing him gently in the side, she smirked "I'm not going to bite. At least not hard." Noticing that tey had gone too far, Liz stopped and turned around to face the shop they had just passed "This it?"
"Oh my.." Holden laughed rather loudly as she hit him, as though she'd just told him the most humerous joke he'd ever heard. He quickly stifled himself, noticing what a relief to anxiety laughter could be. "I'm fine really.. just... haven't slept much." He grinned and looked up, staring straight at the very shop he'd hoped to find. "Yeah, this is it! Thanks." He rushed ahead of her, but thoughtfully turned around, knowing that she'd still be following him. He stepped aside and held the door open for her, though a large string of people took advantage of his courtesy and let themselves out. Holden stood patiently, tapping his foot and watching each one pass, shaking his head when the last one thanked him and gesturing for Liz to enter before him.
"Oh...thanks. How chivalrous of you." Liz said, biting her lip to keep from giggling. "So, what classes are you going to be taking next year? All NEWT classes I'm assuming, you always were the class genius." she remarked, picking up a large red plume and tickling the tip of her nose with it. "like this one? Or is it too...ouvert?" she asked, tickling his face with the large feather.
Holden felt his cheeks go hot once more and groaned internally. Really, he'd grown accustomed to chivalry from his mother, who would glare at him were he impolite, and now it was lashing back at him. "Well, I'm in all N.E.W.T. classes actually. That's why I need quills. I suspect I'll be writing more than I'd like." He frowned, growing redder still as she complimented him. "And you? You... always got good grades." He jumped back as she held the feather up, but soon saw an oppurtunity and snatched his books out of her arms while she was caught off guard. He smirked and laughed in satisfaction, not wanting her to have to lug around his load.
"I hope you drop those." she joked, crossing her arms "I could have handled them." Liz put the quill back in its holder and shrugged "I dropped History of Magic, but stuck with everything else, mainly because I'm still in the dark about what I want to do after school." shaking a bottle of invisible ink, she glanced over at him "By 'good grades' you mean, I scraped by in any class I hated, right?"
Holden gave her a crooked grin, scratching the back of his head. "That's not what I meant. You're... you're very intelligent." He said, looking slightly to the left of her eyes. "The Sorting Hat never lies, right?" He turned to the shelf and quickly grabbed a few bottles of black ink, balancing them atop his books and eyeing the types of quills, finding one that satisfied him enough in price and design, and grabbing a few. "What do you want to do anyway?"
Liz laughed "The sorting hat said I'd make an excellent Slytherin, but they'd eat me alive in there. I was too wary for Gryffindor and way too foolhardy for Hufflepuff. So, it stuck me in Ravenclaw." she explained, not believing she was intelligent in the slightest. Liz eyed his full hands but shrugged it off, if he wanted to carry all of it himself, then she was going to let him. "I honestly have no idea. I kept putting off the thought until it was too late, and now I'm pressed for time." she said, shrugging "and you?"
Holden had to laugh at her description of her Sorting. She wasn't so difficult to talk to - as in, he could probably manage for a bit more without being sick. Normally he'd have come up with some excuse to rush off by now, but he could see she was trying her best to be kind. "The Hat told me I'd be too ahead of my peers anywhere else.. in more or less words." He muttered, scanning the shelves once more and grabbing a notebook with pages that tore out easily, for his mountains of incoherent notes and letters that were bound to collect over the year. "Me... oh well..." He dumped his supplies in a heap on the counter, earning a scowl from the witch working there. "I'm... working on that. I thought maybe something encompassing Herbology and Potions. I'm more a practical person..."
Liz looked over at Holden and smiled "Impressive for a Muggleborn." realizing what she said, Liz gave a small cough "No offense, its just...you didn't have as much exprerience as most of the other students." browsing the countertop display of unusual inks and quills, she bit her lip thoughtfully "You could always patent some sort of magic miracle-gro."
HOlden laughed as he handed a few sickles over, turning back to Liz. "Oh I'd forgotten you were Muggleborn as well. None taken." He started towards the door of the shop, walking straight past her eyeing the shelves still in interest. "I actually wanted to be a pilot for a while..." He said offhandedly, almost to himself. "But not anymore." He pushed open the door, noticing that she was still engrossed in some quills. "Oh... sorry. Did you... want to buy something?"
"Really? A pilot?" she asked, generally intrigued "what made you change your mind?" walking through the open door, Liz shook her head blinking in the dazzling sunlight "No thanks, I prefer pens. The quills are just decorative accents." Liz waited for Holden to lead the way, not sure what other shops he needed to visit "Really though, why a pilot? Want to escape something?"
Holden thought on her question for a moment, holding the door for her again. He wasn't quite sure himself what made him change his mind. "You know, I guess flying just doesn't seem as magical when you can hop on a broom and do it whenever you please if you just can aboid being seen." He mumbled quickly, realizing how freely he'd been speaking. "There was just something about flying to me a guess that had that appeal. You know how everything seems so much bigger when you're only a little child." He started back down the still-bustling street of Diagon Alley. "Anyway, if it was height I wanted - well I'm pretty sure I tackled that problem by now." He said just as he ducked out of the way of an oncoming branch. "Well I've really... ought to be heading home. I'm er... pretty much out of money." He forced a laugh, dreading the screaming match that was destined to occur back at home.
"Nothing wrong with being tall." she remarked, hating her own height. "If you really want, you could always lend me a few inches." Liz paused to fix her bags and pulled out a sheet of paper, scribbling on it. "Too bad, it would have been nice to hang out with you." Ripping the bottom of the paper off, she handed the remaining scrap to him "That's my number, if you have nothing else to do over break just give me a call. It'd be nice to talk on the phone again."
"T-thank you.." Holden accepted the paper quickly and shoved it into the depths of his pocket. Perhaps if he never called her then he could use the excuse that his mum had washed the jeans before he could even have a look at her number, but the truth was he had no intentions of using the phone. He was kind enough to know when he might be saving someone from agonizing minutes of awkward silence. "If... if I can I c-certainly will." He stuttered, losing his composure completely. "Seeyouinschool, definitely." He spat out quickly, with a quick grin. "Thanks again for... company." And with that he turned and dashed out of sight, heavy books and all. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him, and didn't stop running until he was on the underground, safe from any kind of embarassment.
"That boy is too weird." Liz muttered to herself, before spotting something in a nearby shop that complately distracted her from the situation at hand.