If there was one thing Carter Fawcett hated about schoolwork, it was research. Currently, he was sitting at one of the round tables in the library with his best mates, Lucas Chambers and Emily Bradley, working on an essay they had been given in Transfiguration. They were only in third year, and yet, with their new load of classes, their coursework seemed to have increased two-fold from last year.
With another loud huff, Lucas slammed his book shut and placed it atop three others. “I’ve gotten all I can out of that one as well, but I still don’t think its enough. I’ve only got three inches, and we need seven …”
Emily groaned, setting down her quill. “Three?” she asked with a hint of annoyance. “I’ve only got two, how have you got three?”
Lucas shrugged. “I don’t know; have a look, then.” He handed her his parchment to look over and watched as her eyes slid across it. Through all of this, Carter remained silent, his eyes glued to his own paper. With only one paragraph left unfinished, he was nearly through with it, thank Merlin.
It was then that he realized that their table had grown silent and the scratching of his quill seemed suddenly magnified. Four eyes were burning holes into his robes, and the scratching slowed to a stop before he looked up. Both Emily and Lucas had fixed him with stares of envy and annoyance.
Raising an eyebrow, Emily asked, “And how is your paper coming along, Carter?”
Shifting uncomfortably, Carter put down his quill and replied, “All right, I suppose … I can’t seem to get this last paragraph right, though. Perhaps we should find another book …” He trailed off, giving her a weak, apologetic half-smile.
Lucas groaned and leaned over, cheek-to-table. “I’m through looking for books, one of you two do it this time.”
Carter looked down at his parchment and then up to Emily before volunteering. “I’ll go,” he offered, standing. “Where again?”
Sitting up straighter, Lucas pointed toward the back shelves of the library. “Somewhere over there,” he answered with a vague gesture in that general direction.
“All right, I’ll be right back,” Carter said, pushing out his chair as he started toward the secluded shelves.
Without any real method to his choosing, Carter started down a random aisle when he neared the part of the library that Lucas had referred to, picking out a random book as he went. Browsing the shelves lazily, Carter ran his finger along the spines of the books. When he neared the end of the aisle, he heard the sound of a male voice.
“… you really don’t hide it well.”
The voice was coming from one aisle over, and Carter stopped to consider his options. He wasn’t sure if he should continue into the aisle or not, but as he pondered, the voice was joined by another, a female. They spoke quietly, and Carter could only make out certain random words. Almost involuntarily, Carter found himself moving toward the voices as he tried to hear them better, knowing that he shouldn’t eavesdrop and at the same time doing nothing to stop himself.
“Okay, now I know you’re full of it,” he heard the female say. The male countered with something Carter still couldn’t quite hear. He moved another few steps closer.
Suddenly, Carter found himself at the end of the next aisle, and at the sight before him, his mouth fell open.
Leaning against the books on the shelves were two students locked in a heated kiss. The boy had his hand at her neck and the other at her waist; the girl’s hands were both gripping his hair tightly. As Carter watched, their kiss deepened; their heads now moving opposite each other as their passion clearly intensified.
When they finally broke apart she whispered something Carter couldn’t quite make out, and then the boy’s voice said louder, “Told you, did I?”
Faces flushed from their moment of passion, they simply stood their staring at each other, and Carter’s mind was still trying to catch up. He felt his sweaty fingers slipping on the book he was holding, and when the girl reached up to touch the boy’s hair again, it fell out of his hands, hitting a few others out of their places as it fell. The clatter seemed louder than it should in the small space of the aisle as three or four books made contact with the stone floor.
At the sound of the disturbance, both the girl and the boy snapped their heads in his direction, and Carter suddenly felt very in the spotlight. Now that they were facing him, Carter recognized the girl as a sixth year in his house, Ravenclaw. He had seen her around the common room frequently, though he didn’t know her name. The boy was wearing Slytherin’s robes, which only made Carter more nervous.
“S-sorry,” he stuttered, still not moving.
The boy glared at him, while the girl just looked very embarrassed, shifting uncomfortably beneath the boy. He moved to give her more space and then spoke. “Well, go on then,” he said to Carter, his tone slightly harsh. “Sod off. Quit ogling and get moving.”
Carter tried to speak, to apologize, but all that came out was an embarrassing squeak. Quickly, he moved to scramble up the books he had dropped, but he was in such a hurry that they fell twice more. The awkwardness of the moment was almost tangible and Carter just wanted to get away from them before the Slytherin became too impatient and decided to take matters into his own hands.
Finally, Carter collected them all and sprinted away, his cheeks still flaming red. He had just seen two older students snogging in the library! Chuckling to himself, he walked faster, imagining what Emily and Lucas would say when he told them what he’d witnessed.