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Willa Henry

Curiosity will never let me go

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Willa Henry

ooc: 700th post for you¬†ūüíē

 

Willa grinned as she slid her new copy of Mastering the Platform back into her bag, her mind off of dueling and the logistics of learning a new spell, and onto breakfast. Looking over at Zach, Willa purposely grabbed something sweet to add to her plate. He was too involved in some Quidditch magazine, but Willa hadn't wanted to ruin the book he'd given her with his mum's dueling tips written all over it by dropping crumbs or eggs on it at some point during the meal. Which was highly likely considering her table manners had always been sloppy at best. 

 

"What are you reading about?" She finally asked, breaking off a piece of the biscuit as she tried to look over his shoulder. At least sitting, he wasn't obnoxiously taller than her, but it still wasn't as easy as she'd have liked. 

 

What did see had her confused. For a magazine about Quidditch, there were a lot of photos of really pretty women posed and not flying or in the middle of some impressive move. At least on the page Willa was catching, there were no tactical maps or explanations of impressive plays that had won matches or ended stalemates. It almost looked like the magazines James kept hidden under his bed. 

 

"You know, even if the Falcons pulled ahead last week, they're still only ahead of the Kestrels by 10 points in the league. That's not much for such a stellar team..." She teased as she went back to her toast. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw an older Slytherin couple flirting, but she disregarded it for the most part. She'd started noticing couples more and more around the grounds, especially as the weather got warmer and people weren't as cramped in the castle as they had been during the winter. Willa turned her attention fully back to Zach, grinning as she waited for whatever comeback he'd manage. 

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Zachary Montague

What was Zach reading about? To be honest, he wasn't completely sure, having been distracted by a double-page spread on two of the latest signings for the Harpies. Though he would never say it out loud (Falcons or die) Zach actually rather liked the Harpies as a team. They were very... good... and, like, great. Especially the blonde haired, green-eyed seeker with the--

 

"What are you reading about?ÔĽŅ"¬†

 

Zach was still getting used to Having A Friend, especially one as nosy and inquiring as Willa Henry. After the initial internal panic, Zach turned his flinch of surprise into casually turning over the page in his copy of Quidditch Illustrated as he had totally been planning to do anyway for the last ten minutes. Next came the grin, a sign of their friendship and his comfortableness with her. "Is that really the best you've got? If the Falcons aren't stellar and they're beating the Kestrals, what does that say about your team?"

 

Bantering with Willa about quidditch was one of his favourite things. She never seemed to take offence and was always coming up with new ways to needle him, so much so that he actually actively looked forwards to getting to sit with her at meal times and argue about whose team was the best (his). Talking about quidditch also distracted her from talking to him about dueling, which she was still obsessing over if the amount of time she spent reading his mother's copy of Mastering the Platform was anything to go by.

Edited by Zachary Montague

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Willa Henry

Willa let his reply sink in for a moment, her mind racing to come up with something that sounded better than 'I know I am, but what are you?', which didn't even make sense with what he had said. Instead, she focused on the magazine and reached over to flip it back to a two-page spread of the newest players for the Harpies (gross). She didn't get what was so interesting on it, but it'd bought her enough time to sound smart. 

 

"Well, the Kestrels are just in a slump right now..." She explained simply, grinning as she glanced back down at the magazine spread for a second. "But I guess the Falcons finally learned which hoops were the opponents, huh?" Willa had been tempted to make a joke about seekers, but considering Zach was related to one, she figured she was safer sticking with the chasers. She hadn't exactly tested how touchy Zach was about family jokes, but considering Willa would more likely kill someone than make fun of her own father, she decided to stay away. 

 

"Or, are you overcompensating because you're secretly a Harpies fan?" She teased finally, going back to the magazine because she couldn't really figure out why he'd been staring at it for so long. Willa knew they were pretty, but that was also a thing for the Harpies. "They're doing even worse than either of our teams!" 

 

Willa knew she was insufferably nosy to her friends, but she didn't really care. 

Edited by Willa Henry

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Zachary Montague

She was just like Callista, with her lack of personal space and constant attempts to rile him up, only Zach liked Willa more because she wasn't related to him. Sisters were the worst. He made an attempt at shoving her hands away as she turned the pages of his magazine back over but didn't put up much of a fight because, honestly, he'd rather be looking at the Harpies than an advert for the latest Nimbus broom. 

 

"The Falcons have always known which hoops are the right ones to shoot on, they just keep getting pulled for fouls which are totally not fouls." He rolled his eyes. "Like that so-called blag last game? Total fake-out by that Arrows chaser. He just knew that the officials always side against the Falcons because they're such sticklers for the rules." 

 

His attention strayed again to the pictures of the Harpies, once again on show on the double-page spread. Their seeker, catching him looking, winked up at him. Zach felt his cheeks go warm. "I think every guy is a Harpies fan," he said. "I mean, why wouldn't you be? Just look at all that... talent..."

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Willa Henry

"Or maybe because the Falcons play dirty and the whole league knows it?" Willa shot back, leaning on her forearms as her eyes bounced between the magazine and Zach. She honestly hadn't watched or listened to the match he was talking about, but it was easier to let him think that she followed Quidditch as closely as he did. Willa didn't even listen to most of the Kestrels games either, just picking up the highlights and the score after the fact. 

 

But Zach's sudden flush was interesting, as was his specification that guys liked the Harpies. She looked at him curiously for a second, not understanding what he meant until she caught the seeker winking again and then everything clicked. 

 

The Holyhead Harpies were known for being exceedingly attractive with excellent bits. Things that attracted boys that Willa was just beginning to understand the importance of. She was about to open her mouth to ask a question that was probably too blunt and innocent about the whys and what talents he was referring to when the older couple from before caught her eye again. She'd seen them around the castle enough that she was curious about why people dated and did things like holding hands and kissing, but this time they were full on snogging in the Great Hall. Gross. 

 

"Have you ever kissed anyone?" Willa asked suddenly, all earlier questions forgotten as she turned back to Zach. She feel feel her cheeks heating up slightly, probably matching Zach's, as she wondered when people wanted to start kissing. The idea of it was still gross to her, an exchange of saliva (thinking that even made her shudder) and a weird mashing of faces together, but apparently people enjoyed that and it confused her. "Like proper kissed. You know, not just on the cheek or something?" 

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Zachary Montague

Zach had not, in fact, kissed anyone. Like proper kissed. Not just on the cheek or something. 

 

Zach said, "Yeah. 'course I have."

 

He kept his gaze on the quidditch magazine open in front of him rather than on Willa as he replied so that she couldn't see his expression, then after a few seconds glanced up at her. Willa Henry was blushing. It was cute - in a way the Harpies definitely weren't and he wasn't used to her being. Willa was usually confidently bantering with him about quidditch teams and challenging him over his ideas for strategies. She wasn't confident on the quidditch pitch when they were flying together but she wasn't nervous either, not like this. 

 

"You haven't, have you?" It was obvious from the way she was looking at him. The way he'd be looking, too, if he hadn't already decided months ago how he would react to this very situation. As with most things in his life, Zach had decided early on to fake it when it came to girls and relationships, to pretend as if he was confident and knew what he was talking about. It wasn't like anyone would know if he was telling the truth or not; he could just make up a girl from Beauxbatons or Durmstrang that he knew through his family connections. They were still just kids. No one really knew anything, he was sure.  

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Willa Henry

It felt like the blush had started in her toes and was going up to her scalp from the amount of heat she could feel radiating off their skin as Zach confirmed what she had expected. Of course he had kissed someone. He knew what bits were and could appreciate them and clearly everyone was seeing something that she didn't really understand. Even Dale, who she'd always thought was a little thick and maybe slow to pick up on things was interested in girls and things. It was almost like Willa would have to admit that she was behind on something else. Classwork was one thing, this was another. 

 

And of course Zach called her out on the fact that she hadn't. 

 

Willa stuttered for a moment, not sure how to answer because vulnerable was not synonymous with her. This wasn't making jabs about his father's Quidditch team or how she was going to beat him in a loop around the pitch even if she flew off course several times. This was admitting that he, and several other students knew something she didn't. 

 

"No... I haven't." She started simply, finding the magazine much more fascinating than anything else. "Who did you kiss?" She wasn't going to ask what it was like. Nope. That was crossing a boundary and admitting that she did want to know. 

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Zachary Montague

"No one at Hogwarts." No one at all. "A girl in France."

 

His grandmother had retired to the South of France several years ago, returning to the Rosier roots. The Montagues regularly went to visit her, the rose gardens, wineries and seashell beaches. Zach liked France, the elegance and the poise, the utter confidence people carried themselves with as if they were completely sure of their place in the world. 

 

Kissing a girl from France would seem cool. Something fitting of the sporty, confident persona he'd made for himself. He'd come up with a name if he needed to but Zach had found over the years that the best lies were the ones that weren't specific, the ones that had enough detail to be believable but not enough to be memorable. 

 

Closing the magazine, he turned to face Willa properly. Her cheeks were still slightly pink in that cute way he wasn't used to. The Harpies had disappeared from his mind. 

 

"Why?" he asked. "Do you want to kiss someone?" He felt a little like Callista in that moment and her love of gossip. She and @Honorine Nott loved to sequester themselves away when Callista was back from Durmstrang, laughing and whispering and talking in that baffling girl-language up in Callista's room. The twins always shared a look when it happened and went off to play something fun instead. Zach had never really been interested in relationships before or wanting to know who people liked but he found himself in that moment wondering who it was that Willa Henry might want to kiss.

Edited by Zachary Montague

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Willa Henry

Willa couldn't help the snort at the absurdity that Zach had kissed a girl in France. Zach, who was a pureblooded Quidditch prodigy blessed to look like some tall, blonde Smile of the Year receiver had kissed a girl in France that he was now calling a nobody. Of bloody course he had. 

 

She wanted to ask more questions. Like, was she an up and coming model? What team did her mum or dad play for? Did she happen to be part veela and trap him with some sort of siren song? Willa always had a lot of questions and generally no problem with blurting them out (see kissing question that got her into this mess), but Zach was doing a great job of turning questions around on her. She'd been planning on just going back to how pretty the blonde in the magazine was because that was certainly a lot easier. 

 

"What do you mean why?" Willa tried to keep the defensive edge out. She really did. "I...I don't know." She finally admitting, swallowing slightly and wondering how much better it would be to shove a biscuit in her mouth just to avoid answering his questions. It had worked with other conversations, but she had a feeling that Zach would only bring it up again later. 

 

"I'm curious. It... It feels like everyone is kissing and I hadn't thought much about it and now..." I feel behind. She didn't say it, but the thought brought up a bit of panic. This vulnerability thing was new for their friendship and she was watching Zach carefully, like a deer in headlights. 

Edited by Willa Henry

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Zachary Montague

Had she snorted because she didn't believe his lie? Because she thought it was made up and he hadn't actually kissed anyone? Zach tried to keep his expression as neutral as possible and glanced back at his magazine for a second to collect his thoughts. He hadn't wanted to come up with a name or more details because lies that evolves were harder to keep track of and then he might end up contradicting himself. Please don't ask more, he thought, please don't ask more please don't ask--

 

Her question interrupted his panic and he blinked, looking back over at her. She had almost sounded defensive then, like she wasn't happy that she'd been asked why she hadn't kissed anyone, because apparently... everyone was doing it? 

 

The only person in their year Zach knew who had kissed someone else was his brother @Gabriel Montague who had, for some totally baffling and incomprehensible reason, decided to kiss @Honorine Nott. (Zach still couldn't understand why or how that had happened.) Were there more people kissing? Thinking about it, @Calliope Thorpe had mentioned once that she had a boyfriend but Zach had just tuned her out as he usually did when she was babbling on and on. That @Prometheus Saintcross and @Angelique Slater were always hanging out, he supposed. What if everyone was having real kisses and Zach was just over here making up lies? 

 

"Now you want to kiss someone to see what it's like," he finished her sentence. Someone in particular? He didn't think so. Willa seemed to be more concerned with the idea rather than the person. She was looking at him in a way she never had in their friendship so far, her eyes wide and her expression open. It felt like a moment of vulnerability suddenly, her opening up to him about something she was worried about. It felt in that moment, for the first time, like a real friendship.

 

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Willa Henry

Silence felt very weird to Willa at that moment. 

 

Zach had very accurately finished her statement, which had left her feeling unsettled because it was the first time she'd come remotely close to expressing how she had those types of feelings starting to bubble up and creating a weird nausea in her stomach. There wasn't a single person who came to mind on the few times she had tried to think through kissing, though Zach had made an appearance in the few times she'd actually tried to imagine kissing someone else. She didn't really know what else to say to continue the conversation because she was already fighting the nerves that demanded she run away because it was easier. 

 

She didn't though, and it was because Zach didn't make fun of her. There was no follow up quip about how he was surprised, who was going to walk her down the isle at her impending nuptials, or any of the several other jokes Willa could have come up with on the spot if this conversation weren't centered around her and her lack of experience.

 

"Yeah, pretty much that." Willa answered lamely, distracting herself by slowly turning the cookie she'd already debated shoving into her mouth into a pile of crumbs in front of her. Anything to keep her hands busy because it slightly calmed that need to run away. 

 

"Is that a stupid thought?" She asked suddenly, looking up to meet Zach's eyes as she tried to think through how many questions she could ask. She trusted Zach, there was no question about that, but he seemed remarkably unruffled by their conversation in comparison. Willa could only guess that his apparent calm meant that he'd done this plenty and feelings and thoughts like these weren't weird to him anymore.

 

"I just... I don't want to be weird about it and I don't even know how someone could go about... starting a kiss? It all looks weird." She finished lamely, eyes back on destroying any possible resemblance to a cookie that the pile of crumbs in front of her had. 

Edited by Willa Henry

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Zachary Montague

"We can kiss," said Zach, "If you want."

 

The words were out before he could think twice and the utter fear that followed was terrifying. Luckily, he'd been lying about who he was his entire life and so his expression stayed completely neutral even as he had a massive panic attack. What did you go and do that for? his mind demanded. You idiot. If Willa said no it was a rejection - another thing to add to his list of why he wasn't good enough - and if she said yes then she was very quickly going to realise that he'd lied about kissing someone already. 

 

Pretty much every swear word he knew flew through his mind in that moment. 

 

Son of a flacking banshee.

Edited by Zachary Montague

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Willa Henry

Willa forgot what words were for a moment as she stared at Zach and tried to process his suggestion. While she was silent, her cheeks flared scarlet as she tried to decide whether she could or would answer him. Nervous energy rushed through her limbs as she forced herself back into the conversation and met his eyes instead of standing up and rushing off. 

 

Did she want to kiss him? 

 

The short answer was yes. 

 

The long answer involved a lot more introspection than the already emotionally-drained Willa was capable of, so she slid an easy grin back onto her face and swallowed slightly. It felt comical, trying to look cool and collected when she certainly hadn't been for the past few minutes. She hadn't expected to be more nervous at the idea of kissing than the idea that she was behind her classmates. 

 

"Sure." Did you say thanks to an offer like this? "I'm gonna go get a duel in quick, but let me know when you want to train this week? I'm not backing down on my part of the bargain." Willa answered, shouldering her bag and rushing out a little quicker than she meant to. If they'd made a deal over his mum's copy of Mastering the Platform, what sort of deal did this involve? Or was it a favor between friends? Why did her cheeks still feel like they were aflame? Had that counted as a moment between her and Zach? She didn't know the answer to any of it, but throwing some shocking hexes at golems or other students sounded like a great distraction. 

 

Fin. 

 

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