Ersatz Excuses by chemicalflashes
Summary: Orla Quirke was one strange girl and he was one strange boy. Her strangeness was the excuse for him to follow her. Or so he told himself.
Categories: Other Pairing Characters: None
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1103 Read: 596 Published: 04/02/16 Updated: 04/15/16
Story Notes:
This story contains no OCs. Both the characters portrayed in here are creations of J. K. Rowling.

I thank my sister, Luna for beta reading.

1. Ersatz Excuses by chemicalflashes

Ersatz Excuses by chemicalflashes
Author's Notes:
I hope you like it!
What was his excuse to follow her?

Dennis Creevey didn't know what he was thinking when he had decided to spy on the girl called Orla Quirke. He didn't know what he was thinking when he had started to follow the girl with the long, long golden hair on her way to who-knew-where.

The only things he knew about her was that she was in his year, a Ravenclaw, a Muggle-born and that she had a rather strong dislike for him, and that's what the trouble was; he wanted to know more about this indecipherable girl and why she didn't like him.

The cold December wind was howling as he turned around the corner after her. He instinctively tightened his scarf around himself.

Colin was insufferable whenever he mentioned her in their conversations. He always smirked and made Dennis shy by implying that he liked her. Dennis always used to roll his eyes at his brother. God, Colin could never understand, could he? He just wanted to know more about the girl because she intrigued him and not because he wanted to propose to her under the starlight.

Now was not the time to be thinking about Colin. Orla was several paces ahead of him and by the route that she was taking, he had figured out that she was headed for the Owlery. Moonlight glinted off her braided golden hair and seeing her, Dennis could almost picture her as Rapunzel. While his feet and eyes followed her, his mind was lost in a sea of thoughts.

When he had fallen into the lake on his first day at Hogwarts, she had looked at him with disapproval evident in her eyes. She had been the one to give him dirty looks when he had announced that the Beauxbatons' carriage was a flying house more than anything else. Then in their second year, he knew she had been about to call out his bluff to Filch about his being a third year, but then, somehow, she had gone away without so much as a word.

Yes, Orla Quirke was one strange girl, and he was one strange boy.

Her strangeness was the excuse for him to follow her. Or so he told himself.

She had reached the Owlery now and he knew she had climbed up the steps. When he reached the top, he hid himself in a small crevice between the walls and he couldn't have been more proud of his wiry frame for which many others mocked him. He watched her keenly, taking in how delicate she looked in the candlelight.

She was tying letters to her owl's feet with the help of some string which she was cutting with the help of what seemed to be a very sharp knife. There were at least five to six letters.

"Why are you following me?"

The words were quite sudden in the quiet setting. It was embarrassing. He decided he would rather not answer and let her think that she had imagined the sound of the steady footsteps following her.

"Why are you following me, Dennis Creevey?"

Now he froze up. Apparently the girl had a diabolical sense of hearing and a keen sense of her surroundings as well. Those were two new things he knew about her. Well, at least his failed mission had achieved something.

Suddenly, she appeared in front of him. Looked like she appeared to know about the hiding spot too. Dennis gulped in air - lots of it. Before he could fathom what was happening, her soft hands had clasped his and had pulled him out of the narrow crevice. She looked at him with accusing eyes. Due to the closeness, he could make out flecks of dark blue in the green of her eyes.

Was it just him or had the Owlery suddenly become warmer?

Orla crossed her arms and regarded him crossly with such a resounding glare that he shuddered.

"Care to explain?" she asked him finally, a sharp edge dancing in her voice.

You can do this, Creevey, he told himself. You can lie, you always have. You even fooled Filch!

However, on seeing her so concentrated on him, his mind forgot whatever he had wanted to say and his thoughtless and stupid, stupid tongue rolled out the following words with ease:

"You're strange."

He smacked himself mentally. Was this any way to talk? He would have never heard the end of it had his mother been present here.

She just glared more at him.

"And aren't you strange yourself?" she retorted.

He gulped in some more air. Why was he being so nervous? His throat felt so dry and he knew if he had to endure any more time in front of this pretty girl then his Irish lilt would start seeping into his voice.

Oh look, he just thought of her as pretty. He had never done that before. Something was really wrong with him.

Stop this, Creevey, he ordered himself as he looked at the stony floor with cheeks as scarlet as his Gryffindor scarf. Where's your Gryffindor courage?

"I guess...err...that I wanted to know why you hate me so much."

There, he had said it at last. It was not the thing that he had wanted to say but at least it could prevent the conversation from running into a brick wall.

She regarded him for a moment before brushing away the loose strands of hair falling on her face with her hand.

"I have never hated you, Creevey," she said after a while.

"Then what's with all the dirty looks?" he countered back, his earlier valour rising.

"Look, you're everything I am not, okay? You run around. You cause chaos. Me? I stay in one place. I maintain silence. Of course, I dislike you for that."

The reason had been so simple all along.

"But you're decent," she continued. "You don't bully others like Malfoy. If anything, I think that you're one of the best in being decent," she added.

"And I think," he told her playfully, "that you're one of the best in giving people a wrong impression."

She smacked his arm, but not in a manner that would maim him.

"Friends?" he asked, highly uncertain.

"Friends."

They shook hands.




If Dennis had known that Orla would be carrying his child some six years after the Owlery incident as his wife, he would have piped up his real excuse right there and then.

"I think you're the most gorgeous girl I ever saw. Will you go to Hogsmeade with me?"

On second thoughts, she might have slapped him.

-end-
End Notes:
I hope that wasn't half bad. Also, if anyone's wondering what's with the Irish lilt, then you must know that the Creeveys are of Irish descent. Check it up on HPL (Harry Potter Lexicon)
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