Petey Levi

#smalltalk

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Petey had just finished his last class for the day and was planning on retrieving to the Ravenclaw Tower for a relaxing session of staring at the ceiling and doing nothing. Until Molly appeared in the corner of his eyes and Petey's slow pace quickly turned into a brisk walk through the corridors. Petey had been avoiding Molly the past couple days. Four days to be exact. Just enough time for him to start thinking about the fact that he was sort of bored without Molly annoying him, but still too stubborn to dwell on it. 

 

Right now, he was just trying to concentrate on not starting a fight with Molly. Something in him lately told him to be nicer to Molly. Maybe it was after his new attempts at talking to other students that he was starting to realize how agonizing human interaction was with anybody other than Molly. Don't be fooled, time with Molly was also dreadful, but more tolerable. Like a shot at a doctor's office compared to getting his arm gnawed off by a werewolf. Petey was learning to pick and choose his battles. 

 

And this battle was over a gross bogay Molly had sent hurling towards him. Ordinarily an event that would ruin any kind of relationship with Petey, but now a feat he was trying to get over. And that started with not talking to Molly because she was awful at small talk and not raising his blood levels. 

 

He darted around the corner but felt an arm tug on his shoulder. Stupid Molly and her athletic type had already caught up to him. The choice was now to either take his initial reaction and blow his top, or try his hardest to take the high road.

 

"Hello Molly," he said after being whipped around, "How are classes going?"

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After her duel with River, Molly had come to a realization that she wasn't as bad about germs as Petey thought. Sure, she liked mud and big bugs, but it wasn't as if she picked her nose or anything childish like that. She immediately decided she'd inform him (while also spilling the beans about River being a nose-picker), but she realized she couldn't find Petey anywhere. This was about two days ago - Molly completely forgot about her resolve to locate the Ravenclaw until now, nor had she noticed that it'd been four days without Petey speaking to her.

 

Time to Molly was less of a concept itself than it was a series of events in a vague order.

 

She also had no idea that he was intentionally avoiding her.

 

Molly didn't think about these things - if she had, she would've confronted the boy much sooner.

 

Her eyes did light up, however, when she spotted the decidedly slouched, ruffled, dark curly-haired figure a few paces ahead of her in the corridors, and it didn't take her long to weave through a crowd of older students, around a corner, and catch up to him. "Oi, Petey, I - what?" A brow quirked as she dropped his arm. "You're - you're in classes with me, aren't you? Wouldn't you know?" 


Edited by Molly Stone

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Petey couldn't understand why Molly could never answer a simple question or why she couldn't understand the concept of casual small talk with peers. Sure he was in class with her, along with all the other first years, but that didn't stop him from bringing it up to them when he needed to fill the void of silence. Small talk wasn't suppose to be interesting or something you particularly cared about, rather a subject to remain friendly with one another. Maybe this was why Molly had very few friends, Petey didn't think she knew the first step on how to be friendly with anyone. 

 

Still trying to keep his cool while silently wanting to scream at Molly, he ran his hand through his dark curly hair while taking a deep breath. Petey had recently been searching the weirder section of the school library, the odd mental health books by bizarre wizards. They had interesting concepts about the brain and suggested breathing exercises to stay calm. He'd been practicing them lately, knowing he'd have to face Molly sometime. 

 

"What about duels?" He said, searching for another topic to discuss, "Have any good duels lately?" It hurt Petey to mention duels, it only reminded him why he was so angry at Molly in the first place, but if it was the only subject that dense Molly could relate to, the new Petey was willing to compromise. 

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It wasn't that Molly didn't like small talk - it was that she didn't understand it. Sure, she realized that it was "technically" a device people used to get to know new friends, but Molly sure as hell wasn't going to buy into that bull - if she wanted to get to know someone, she was going to ask them about interesting things she cared about, rather than something she could easily check herself like the weather. She especially wasn't going to answer dumb questions from someone like Petey who she already knew for months now. 

 

Molly didn't mind silence, either - it was rare in her presence since she almost always found something to talk or ask about, but she'd rather silence than idiotic, pointless conversation. To be honest, she'd always thought Petey felt the same way - although, his silence usually only occurred when he was pointedly ignoring her.

 

Perhaps he was trying to communicate with her but didn't quite understand how to? Molly sighed, running a hand through knotty brunette hair, path broken mid-way by a particularly vexing snarl. "Look, Petey, you don't have to talk to me about stuff just for the sake of it. I'll talk to you, fine, but it can be about something we care about, alright?" She paused at his next question. Sure, the way Petey broached it was a bit odd, but Molly definitely didn't mind talking about duels. "Yeah, sure, loads of them. I didn't realize you were interested," she grinned. "I beat a second year for the first time, and I showed Denton good. Plus, wait til ya' hear this -" Duel talk reminded her of her original reason for seeking him out. "River picks his nose."

 

Molly may not be the biggest fan of gossip, but it was certainly better than small talk.

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The boiling of Petey's anger only kept rising as Molly outwardly ignored his attempts at small talk and immediately disregarded them. He was really trying his hardest to be nice to Molly, but her obnoxious way of not beating around the bush and getting straight to the point was ruining any chances of Petey being able to forget how mad he was at her. 

 

"I don't want to talk to you at all," he mumbled under his breath as Molly started rambling about all her stupid duels. His eyes focused on the ceiling above him as he tuned out everything Molly was ranting about, except for the last part. Any talk about River could grab his attention, especially gossip. It was a nasty habit he had developed from his mum and her obsession with gossip columns. There was something riveting about passing along stories about anybody else but himself. Sometimes Petey liked a good reminder that other's were worse than he originally thought. 

 

"Picks his nose, what?" Petey's eyes widened, "Why did he tell you that?" Petey couldn't think of a single reason to ever share that kind of information with other students. Some kids at Hogwarts really had issues with the concept of privacy. But the thought of River picking his nose sent Petey into a panic and tracking back to all the events he may have gotten close to touching River's nose picking hand or anything he might have touched beforehand. He really needed to learn a disinfected spell. 

 

All the disgusting thoughts of River and his bogay infested nose completely distracted Petey from the reason he had been avoiding Molly. In this moment, Molly was proving herself to be useful with her vast lot of information on River, and Petey could never turn that away. Not any day of the week. 

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Molly rolled her eyes slowly and purposefully. Her mum was right to tell her she'd be cross-eyed by twenty. "Why did you try talking to me, then, and asking me questions? That makes it sound like you do want to talk to me." She plodded a pace ahead of them now, the pair practically walking in circles. She'd been originally planning to make a trip to the dueling chamber, but now she was following Petey, or he was following her, or something - their motions had synced and she hadn't realized.

 

"Yeah, can you believe that!" Molly exclaimed, arms waving about expressively. She almost knocked Petey in the nose with her elbow (but almost doesn't count). "We were dueling and I used the bat bogey hex, and he started complaining that he planned to -" she made quotation marks with her fingers, "pick those later." Molly mimed gagging. "Then he said that I picked his nose for him with my spell, which is just about the grossest thing in the whole world. If it weren't for you, I may have went off and assumed all Ravenclaws were weirdos like that, and they just threw all the weirdos in one house." (This is the closest Molly may ever come to complimenting Petey).

 

Molly furrowed her brows in thought. "You sleep in a dorm with him, right? That must be weird, does he do other weird things?" Twelve year olds shouldn't just go around admitting that they picked their nose.

 

"There's this rumor wall in the girl - er, moaning myrtle's bathroom." She didn't want to tell Petey it was a girls' room, or else he may not come in there with her. She'd seen plenty of boys add stuff to the rumor wall, though. "We should go check it out and write this in," Molly grinned. Was she.. bonding.. with Petey? She may have shuddered if she weren't too distracted by her mission set foot.

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Petey flinched as Molly's elbow came dangerous close to his face, and close does count by Petey's standards. But before he could complain he was pulled in by the gossip she offered. His face scrunched in as he imagined River telling Molly all of this and then even worse- imaging River picking his nose. Petey quickly covered his mouth and pulled away from Molly's circles to gag in the nearest bin. Nothing came out but a sad string of spit, but he was doing it more for the dramatic effect at this point. He needed the school hallways to know that River had literally sickened him. 

 

He pulled his curly head away from the bin and ran his robe sleeve across his mouth. His own spit didn't bother him, he knew it was clean. 

 

"That's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard," he said, voice still raspy from the attempted dry heaving. Petey knew Molly was terrible for even inflicted the bogay curse on people, but it was River's terribleness that lead him to share unneeded information. When Molly cursed Petey, it just made him ignore her for several days, which was way better than picking your damn nose. 

 

His eyes now almost permanently stuck in a side-eyeing position defended the Ravenclaw house, "No other Ravenclaw is like that. He's the only weird one. He sleeps in bed way far from me. I knew he was germy from the start of the year." Petey was glad his intuition (whether right or wrong) had steered him away from River, or anybody in the dormitory for that matter. Petey had found a bed in the far corner, furthest away from most.  

 

"Well, you saw him push me in the water that one day in Astronomy, and then he basically attacked me in the dueling chamber the other day. The kid doesn't know personal space," Petey spat out, willing to dish all his truth on him after everything he's done to him in just one year. "Sometimes I think he forgets I'm even in Ravenclaw with him."

 

The non-nose picking Ravenclaw mulled over the thought of going to moaning myrtles bathroom. "I know it's a girls' bathroom, Mol-LY," he had almost missed saying her name like that, "But I don't care. We definitely need to go write this down." 

 

Petey was no saint and spreading a bit of gossip about a boy who had rubbed him the wrong way countless times now might not be the most outstanding thing the first years could do, but sticks and stone break bones; words can't hurt. Or something like that. Petey didn't really care at this point. 

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Honestly, Molly had no idea what the expect when it came to Petey Levi and gossip. She could've anticipated it'd go either way - he'd either be completely bored with the knowledge and not care about it, as he didn't care about many things, or he'd be wholly intrigued at the idea of making fun of/ranking on/complaining about someone else, if only for a chance to whine. She supposed she had been more confident that his reaction would be the latter, considering his interest in History of Magic (read: a subject that involved Grimsby providing them with endless gossip from his past). So, she was only mildly, but pleasantly, surprised at the revelation. Gossip was one of the few things that interested Petey.

 

Maybe she could use this to her advantage in the future, too, if he was ever on the edge of cracking. Or worse: If he ever attempted to make small talk with her again.

 

The mimed gagging was a bit much. It's not like she told him something that deviated so drastically from the norm. Sure, the behavior was more common among toddlers, but still. At least he hadn't eaten his boogers. An eye roll commenced as the boy located the nearest bin and took an obnoxious amount of time to recover. "You good?" 

 

"He can't sleep that far from you," Molly pointed out. She loved calling Petey out whenever he attempted to lie - it was one of her favorite past-times. "There's like, what, three boys in Ravenclaw? What, is the Ravenclaw tower like an enormous stretch of kingdom with your three beds in the three furthest corners? That sounds unrealistic." Molly snorted, but she was almost jealous at the thought as that'd be completely unfair. The Gryffindor tower may have canopy, four-poster queens (a dramatic improvement from Molly's twin bed back at home), but she was still relatively close to all of her dorm-mates. 

 

"Alright, let's go. This way," Molly pointed, and now that they were on the subject, she found she enjoyed gossip much more than she would've ever expected herself to. "Do you have any hot goss for me?" She flinched because she just used the phrase hot goss.

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