Like Murphy said, if something can go wrong, it will. It wasn't my ideal date (what was wrong with a nice walk at daytime?) but Brad had insisted. His daredevil attitude played a small part in his charm. If it had been anybody other than the boy that I had been pining after for the whole of my first four years at Hogwarts, then I would have refused, so as to not risk sacrificing my golden record and flawless grades. But only an insane girl—or prettier one—would have said no to Bradley Brookshire!
As the clock struck twelve, I stumbled out of the dormitory. None of the girls batted an eye at my leaving, as we all had our secret meetings from time to time. I scrambled out of our entrance barrel and enjoyed the cool air that banished my sweat. Sweat? I held my hands up to my face and cursed, my palms gleaming brightly in the torchlight. There was no time to change though, so I dashed into the kitchen where a few house elves happily stuffed my pockets with treats. After wiping my wet hands on my robes—fantastic, greasy hand marks—I continued my journey outside. I soon reached the entrance hall without meeting anybody and my confidence grew stronger. Which should have been a signal that something was about to go wrong.
"Student out of bed, eh?" Filch's all too familiar voice barked. His footsteps grew closer. I shielded my face from his view, protecting my identity from him. I needed to run far away from the decrepit old man, so I started sprinting—and ran straight into a wall. He cackled as I fell. I was too tired to get up.
"FILCH!" Bradley's voice bellowed. I raised my eyes to find Bradley standing outside the main doors. It was a valiant effort, but Filch wouldn't chase Brad while he had me within arms' length. Those were my thoughts until I saw a yowling Mrs Norris clenched in Brad's hand. Filch tore after him as fast as he could, which was in fact quite slow. I took my opportunity and raced out the main doors, Brad not too far behind me. I dashed around the back of the school, hoping dearly that Brad was nearby, and willing the painful stitch in my side to disappear.
"Argus? What're you doing out here?" The teacher, whoever she was, calmed Filch down, giving Brad and I enough time to gather our bearings. I finally looked him in the eye and allowed a small grin to pass over my face. We were standing in a forest, completely safe from Filch.
"You've got a cut on your head," Brad said softly, brushing my forehead. I was grateful for the darkness, as it hid the sight of my bright red cheeks.
"You've got scratches on your cheek," I replied, lightly touching the marks. They were no doubt from handling the ancient Mrs Norris. Brad slowly leaned in towards me and my heart responded by beating rapidly. I closed my eyes and—was he growling? My eyes snapped open in time to find a set of glowing eyes and bared teeth. I tackled Brad to the ground just as the creature leapt at us. The werewolf smashed into a tree and yelped. I helped Brad up and we sprinted through the forest, zigzagging and occasionally splitting up to confuse the werewolf. Once we reached a clearing and the panting grew louder, we knew that we were caught. One couldn't outrun a werewolf.
"Bri," Brad choked out, his hand taking mine as the creature circled up in a taunting manner, "I need to tell you that—"
A white blur whizzed by and Brad stopped talking as we watched a pure white wolf attack our predator. It was at this point that I came to my senses. "YOUR WAND!" I bellowed, "YOUR WAND!" It was difficult to aim properly, as we were afraid of hurting the wolf as he battled it out with his opponent, but we took our chances when we saw our ally weakening.
With combined efforts, we managed to bind the werewolf in ropes. We stood triumphantly and nodded to the wolf. He snarled back, so we took that as notice to get the hell out. We exited the
encountering anymore dangerous monsters, but the danger had ruined our date.
Far away galaxies twinkled at us, as if mocking my failure. Brad would never
want to see me again. "Hey, what were you going to say to me
Brad shot me a goofy smile that made my knees weak (or was that from all the running?) and shoved his hands in his pockets. "Uh, that I think you're really cute and I wanted to know if... if you wanted to be like, boyfriend and girlfriend? Like, officially dating, I guess?"
I ducked my head to hide my smirk at his clumsy words but uttered out my equally lame response of, "Yeah, I think I'd like that." Brad held my hand and we walked back towards the castle, picking out constellations from above. I handed him a Butterbeer that I had extracted from my pocket and took a glug out of my own, savouring the blessed taste.
Unfortunately, the pleasant part of our outing didn't last long. Professor Longbottom was standing with his arms crossed at the front doors shaking his head at us. "I'm surprised at you, Miss Pearson. You're top of my class! And you there—Mr. Brookshire—you're of Ravenclaw house, aren't you?" Brad nodded. "Oh dear, you two are both covered in cuts. We'd best send you off to Madame Pomfrey, and then deal with your punishments afterwards."
We trailed behind Professor Longbottom reluctantly. "Jam doughnut?" I offered.
"Thanks," Professor Longbottom and Brad said simultaneously, each taking a few.
"Next time," I whispered to Brad, "We go out in the day."
"Agreed," Brad replied, and he sealed the deal with a kiss. I could taste the strawberry jam on his lips.