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Charlie Wheeler

is it too much to ask?

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Charlie Wheeler

Charlie felt guilty. The kind of guilty that made you nauseated and made your tongue feel heavy in your mouth. He couldn't get out of his head the images of @Tulip Blossom and Oliver drenched in paint from his mind. It was supposed to be a harmless prank, but the annoyance and upset that radiated from the two of them made a lasting impression. It was dreadful.

 

"Atti," Charlie muttered to the Slytherin in the middle of Charms, "I made my mum ship in some brownies. We're apologizing to Oliver and Tulip today."

 

The Gryffindor didn't really give her much of a choice. Prepared to argue with her over their duty to apologize for a prank that went passed the line of okay. It may have been funny for the two of them, but Charlie knew enough from the way Oliver and Tulip acted around him that they didn't enjoy the time as much as he had. After Charms, Charlie had pulled Atticus toward Gryffindor tower, chatting her up with promises of her own brownie if she went through with this. He'd even put a rat date on the table, but she'd almost punched him over it. 

 

He'd left her in the corridors - warning that if she left, she wouldn't get a brownie - before he made the climb to his dorm to retrieve the very nice packages his mum had sent. Having a mum that was a baker as well as extremely extra came with some benefits. He returned almost as quickly as he had gone, and he thrust one of the three containers into Atticus's hands.

 

"C'mon, we gotta go find Oliver. I figured we can tackle Tulip later after I grab a carton of chocolate milk. She's easier to bring around with loads of chocolate on the table," he chuckled and shot Atti a bright smile before leading the way through the corridors, "If you spot him, don't let him get away."

 

Poor Ravenclaw. He stood no chance of getting away either time. Charlie should have thrown in some galleons too. He and Atti were no walk in the park to get to know.

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Atticus Barnes

Atticus had been in the middle of writing down a line of notes in her Charms book when Charlie intruded her space to tell her about plans that she seemingly didn’t have a say in. Charlie may have been her friend, but it still gave her a prickly of annoyance to not have a choice in the matter even if she knew deep down that apologizing had to happen. If it were up to her, Atticus just avoid the two annoyed students until she couldn’t any more as she did with Charlie during their initial rough patch, but unfortunately she was attached to her friendship with Tulip and Oliver was an innocent bystander. So, having decided not to start an argument with the Gryffindor in the middle of class, Atticus simply shrugged and gave him a thumbs up with her free hand. Actions had always suited Atticus more than words. 
 

It wasn’t until Charlie pulled her from class all the way to the towers that Atticus let her annoyance show. Really, if looks could kill, Charlie would’ve been on the floor by now. She had half the mind to punch him hard in the arm or act upon her wedgie thread for leading her all around the castle like a dog, but his mom’s brownies and a possible rat rendezvous kept her anger at bay. Charlie was one lucky boy to have a baker as a mother and to have Atticus be so captivated by the idea of chocolate. 
 

“I’m not sure what you expect me to do. I mean, I could throw my left croc at him but that might make matters worse and I have an apology quota of one per person.” Atticus didn’t waste any time in opening the container that Charlie thrusted her way and took a long whiff of the baked goodies.  The brownies smelled delicious and it took every ounce of self-control to stop her from bolting to the dungeons to eat them all by herself in her dorm. 
 

“Does being your friend mean I get baked goods regularly? Or is this like a one time opportunity because you were a jerk and dragged me along.” Atticus made sure to keep her tone light and anything but serious. She couldn’t  risk hurting Charlie’s feelings on top of everyone else’s. Atticus knew neither of them meant to be jerks, at least that time, and Tulip and Oliver just happened to be the ones caught in a prank that they took too far. 
 

Edited by Atticus Barnes
Dumb

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Oliver Strausser

At the end of Charms class, Oliver ducked out quickly. Ever since the end of the dueling tournament (for him, anyway), and the paint skirmish in the halls, the Ravenclaw had been trying to keep away from any nefarious issues for his own protection at this point. Robbie and his friends would probably still be wanting to torment him more whenever the opportunity arose, but this time he was trying to avoid Atticus and Charlie.

 

Sitting on opposing sides of the classroom, he wasn't sure what had been said, but he caught the brief moment of interaction between the two of them, and her approving signal. Was it an augur to something devious again?

 

He had no intentions of finding out. Instead of taking the shortcuts up towards the towers, Oliver took the long way, down the corridor and up the moving staircases, managing to avoid all the trick steps while also keeping a close eye out for the delinquent duo. Briefly, he thought he'd make it back to the Ravenclaw tower with no issues. 

 

But then there they were. Directly in front of him and blocking his path to the Tower. 

 

Wishing desperately he had just taken the shortcut tunnels, Oliver glanced around and went to duck behind one of the numerous suits of armor that were spread throughout the halls. He failed to judge the space needed, and the bag on his back filled with his textbooks and random bits and bobs knocked loudly against the armor, causing the shield it held to clatter to the stone floor. The noise was enough to wake the dead, or at least bring the attention of anyone on that floor his direction.

 

"Don't mock me," he spat at the armor, which had began miming cries of laughter all while pointing at him. The boy was in no mood to take the attitude from an old stack of metal.

 

His attention returned towards the two he had been trying to avoid. Since hiding from them was no longer an option, he let his wand slide out of his robe sleeve, where he had been keeping it so it would be close at hand. Just in case. "Look, I don't know what you two are planning, but if you don't mind, I'd really like to just get to the Ravenclaw Common Room without incident."

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Charlie Wheeler

Charlie sighed in total exasperation at Atticus, but the sigh came out more like a laugh because even though she was not helping, Charlie couldn't help but be thankful for her. It was hard enough to admit he'd done wrong by Oliver, and he knew dragging Atticus into it was also technically his fault, but having her here with him made things a bit easier. Even at eleven, Charlie had a few good inches on her, this helped for when he wanted to be the annoyance he was born to be. For example, while Atticus chowed away at the brownies his mother sent, Charlie took the opportunity to swing his arm around her shoulders and pull her in close. The force alone might have knocked the tin of brownies out of her hand but the Gryffindor hoped he wouldn't have to deal with that calamity.

 

"Well," Charlie said, his tone just as light as hers, "I guess you'll just have to put up with me long enough to find out. And I was not a jerk. If I didn't force you to come with me would you have even come at all?"

 

He could already tell the answer was no but with a loud bang Charlie's attention snapped to the rattling suit of armor just at the end of the hall. Pulling his arm off of Atti, Charlie moved in front of her to peek around the metal to see the person they'd been looking for all this time. The taller boy broke out into a smile at the site of Oliver and waved the Ravenclaw over.

 

That seemed to be the last thing Oliver wanted to do however, and a deepset frown appeared on Charlie's features when he realized that Oliver was still upset with them. He didn't know how badly his little prank had affected Oliver, but he wasn't expecting it to cause this much grief.

 

"I - No - We were just wanting to apologize!" Charlie spluttered through his sentence when he was suddenly faced with the reality of saying 'I'm sorry', "What we did to you and Tulip was crass and we just wanted to say sorry. Oh, and my mum made you brownies."

 

Charlie could already tell the implications of brownies from someone who had previously done harm to you with paint and quickly tried to assuage any worries, "I promise they're good. I wouldn't dare play a prank with food. Food is too good for that. I swear. I'll even unbreakable vow if I need to."

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Atticus Barnes

Charlie’s words played over and over in Atti’s mind, which caused her lips to tighten into a scowl as her hand froze midway from the brownie dish to her mouth as she thought over what had been said and what the words meant. Sparing a glance up and to the side, she narrowed her eyes at Charlie as her brief moment of happiness from the chocolate goodness was ruined. The aftertaste of the brownies turned from nostalgic to sour and Atticus had to close the lid so the smell didn’t cause what she had shoved down to come back up. 

 

Would she have apologized to them if it hadn’t been for Charlie? The simple answer was probably not because Atticus didn’t feel that she had anything to apologize for, to Oliver at least. There hadn’t been much interaction between the Slytherin and Ravenclaw outside of Charlie’s paint prank, but he seemed nice enough and totally undeserving of what had happened; but fortunately, Atticus hadn’t hit him with the balloon and that, therefore, left her unburdened with any guilt. Atticus was only responsible for getting forgiveness from a certain blonde and she knew that wouldn’t be hard if she took a page from Charlie’s book and used food as her white flag of surrender. 

 

Perhaps Atticus lacked the level of empathy that Charlie exuded or she just didn’t see the point in caring as much as he did in a situation that wasn’t incredibly dire. Paint isn’t permanent and with time everyone would forget what happened that day with the balloon bombs. 

 

Atticus was at a loss of words when it came to answering his prying question and was scrambling to find a snarky retort to attack him with when the clang of armor drew her glaring eyes in another direction, right to the boy that they were looking for. She had to lean to the side to get a better look since Charlie had stepped in front of her. Really, the boy was the biggest oaf around but it had some appeal, or at least that was what Atticus was constantly telling herself. 

 

“Ah, the man of the hour!” Atticus had to put a stop to Charlie’s ramblings before the idiot actually followed through with the magical binding. They hadn’t been taught about the magical vow, but Atticus knew enough from her frequent visits to the library and she figured Charlie knew through his sister or family. 

 

“The paint is all gone and our wands are away so even if we wanted to, we couldn’t really mess with you. You should take the brownies, they’re super tasty and I’ve already scarfed down half of mine so they’re completely poison free or else I’d be dead on the ground.” Not that Atticus thought that Charlie’s mom would give them a dose of something wicked, but she figured being clear to the Ravenclaw would help lower his suspicions enough to accept the peace offering. Despite her reservations towards apologizing, Atticus didn’t want any retaliation to come from the prank. She only hoped that brownies and an apology and a half could soothe any tension that the three first years had with each other.

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