Seventeen. Five. Four. Two.
Seventeen was how old Iggy was turning that day, and herself in a couple of months. Five was the number of years she’d known him and the number of months she’d known him. Yeah, we’re talking sex. Four was the number of years since she decided he was definitely the cutest boy in the whole world. Not that she’d been crushing on him back then or anything. He was simply the cutest, like… Her bestie Mina was the nicest girl in the whole world. Two years was the time they’d been snogging by now. Randomly, completely casually. Out of boredom most of the time. Really. At first. Still. Right? No… Because four weeks was the time she’d been wondering if she was getting too… Needy? Too something. Two weeks was the time she’d spent biting her nails over it. Too needy? Too… Could you be too attached to your best friend? Was it…

“Oi! Want this up here or not, Kris?” Dominik’s voice rang out, annoyed enough to tell her he’d been trying to get her attention for a while. She jumped slightly and nodded at him after looking at what he was doing. The fourth floor sitting room was looking great. She and Mina had come up here about an hour ago to set it all up for the party they planned. Everything was coming together awesomely and much of it was thanks to her brothers and cousin. Kris had figured since she had them around she might as well ask them to come with and help out, seeing how they were all older than her and Mina and knew more spells and stuff. Right now, her brother Dominik was levitating a string of lights made out of empty charmed butterbeer bottles to hook it onto the top of some book shelves.

Kris beamed a smile at Mina and leaned against a wall, watching her second oldest brother James do his thing at the make shift bar. It turned out he knew all kinds of cool cooking charms that benefited them. Yay for drinks, right?! Josh jogged around the room placing more charmed lights all over the until he dropped into a couch with a heavy sigh and then shot right up again. “That was not cool,” he stated like the couch had personally insulted him and started transfiguring the cushions into bigger, softer ones. The energetic Blackwood cousin duplicated enough of these pillows to spread on the floor and create a cozy lounging area. His head bobbed to the music Kris had managed to start earlier and Kris automatically copyied his movement as she watched him with a grin. “What, the couch bite you?” She joked and got a faked little look of horror in return. “Damn thing got teeth and claws, locking on my fine ass… I’m telling you it’s time to put it down!”

Kris laughed but unfortunately Dominik finished what he was doing and decided now was a good time to have a little chat. He walked towards her and upnodded slightly, narrowing his eyes in a way she recognized instantly and even started trying to find something, anything, to distract him with. Something was up, and she was in trouble. She glanced at James who was very much keeping his head down, but it had to be about Iggy. James had to have told Dominik what he saw and heard at the courtyard a couple of weeks ago. Ohh man… So that was why Dominik was so cool about helping out for the party. He just wanted a chance to… to… But before her panic settled properly and sprouted paranoid ideas on what her brother was going to do with this information, he started talking. “So… What’s up with you and that kid?” he asked. Which meant he didn’t know already because the siblings never played any games like that. Well, aside from this tiny thing about her not telling him anything about Iggy. But in general, they were close and honest with each other, especially Kris and Dom. If he knew, he’d not ask her like that.

“Nothing, we’re just friends…” she started to lie but closed her mouth and glanced at Mina and then James who was still looking at anything other than her and their brother. Joshua, however, lounged on a couch and watched them with interest, only missing popcorn to complete the picture. Dominik didn’t say anything, but she knew he knew she was lying. She was a bad liar to begin with and lying to Dominik? She couldn’t do it, never could. Just like he was crap at lying to her.

James finally chimed in with a bit of ‘helpful’ advice. “Just tell him, Tini.” He said and glanced up for a moment. He didn’t get why she was denying it since he knew she couldn’t lie to Dominik. And he didn’t get why she was denying since it was a fairly innocent deal. And he didn’t get why she was denying it since it was so damn obvious his brother must be dumber than he thought to not notice anyway.

Kris rolled her eyes at the nickname and the comment. James was the only person who got away with calling her that. So far. And it was only because he didn’t actually talk enough to her when others were around to create a risk of the name spreading. But now he was beginning to stray from that rule, since he said it in front of Tommy and Iggy in the courtyard, and in front of Josh, Dominik and Mina right now. Just great. Great great. But. He seemed to have kept his mouth shut about the whole snogging-Iggy-and-going-to-the-Halloween-ball-together thing.

“Ohh look at the time, it’s almost nine! The others will be here any moment. The room looks awesome, thanks for the help, you all!” She rambled on and tried to get out of answering but instead of pressing her, Dominik headed for Mina. He draped his arm around her shoulders and tugged her a little closer like he was about to plot a major conspiracy with her. “You’ll tell me, right Mina? You wouldn’t keep a secret from me… We’re like family, after all…” He grinned smug but his voice was teasing, knowing he’d get the exact reaction from Kris she now gave. The brunette flailed and made a frustrated sound. “That’s so not fair! You don’t see me asking Sal about your love life!” But as soon as the words slipped she closed her eyes and groaned inwardly. “I didn’t mean that, I mean…”

James shook his head, more baffled than amused but definitely a little of both. Josh burst out laughing, however, and rolled off the couch to come over to them. “Ohhh that little firstie got some game, huh? Ravenclaw’s where it’s at! Brains and balls, dude! Tackling a Blackwood baby sister… Daaayum… Just sayin!” he shut up at the look on Dominik’s face but chuckled to himself and wiggled his eyebrows at Kris who wished sincerely she was big enough to punch her cousin’s lights out at that moment.

“It’s not like that, we’re just… It’s… We just snog.” She attempted to explain but of course the ‘just snog’ was another lie. Not that she were about to explain that one, but Dominik would know something was off about her comment. James and Josh headed to the door and Dominik glanced at them and then the time. It was almost nine. “Yeah…” he said, had let go of Mina earlier of course and now followed his brother and cousin to the door. But his tone of voice was a clear message to Kris that this conversation was not over. By far.

When they were gone, Kris looked at Mina. “I’m so screwed,” she said and slumped her shoulders where she still leaned against a wall. Well… At least the room looked great, they had plenty of drinks and stuff to nibble on, music… And the whole gang showing up soon. Tonight would be great, and she’d face Dom’s rant later. Like, when she showed up at the Halloween ball with Iggy. Yeah, good plan… Ahem. But still. Tonight would be awesome.


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