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Chapter 2: Confession two
The oh so amazing Broomsticks@TDA!
Troian Bellisario as Bollie, the wretchedly misunderstood heroine.
Gaspard Ulliel as James, the bi-polar baby daddy.
Tom Sturridge as Leo, the stereotypical jealous ex.
Kaley Cuoco as Ruth, the self-centred BFF
Confession two - Yes, I am living a cliché.
That day I was in a haze. It wasn’t the lack of sleep that was doing me in - insomnia is an unfortunate but permanent fixture in my life. No, it was the horror. I mean, sorry, but at sixteen you ideally want to be up all night if you’re studying for exams, going on a fabulous date, or eating a bucket load of chocolate with your BFF and your little sister. Well, at least those were the things I’d noted down as late nights essential to the teen girl experience. No, and I mean no, sixteen year old girl wants to be sat up in the middle of the night in the window, looking out at the stars and wondering where she can get a pregnancy test without being seen.
So when my best friend Ruth woke up she found me, wearing my unicorn patterned pyjama bottoms and an old T-shirt of my dads, sat in the window, looking about as terrified as if an axe murderer was just outside the door. She asked what was wrong once, but I replied nothing - and Ruth, as much as I love her, is dreadfully self-centred, so she shrugged it off.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the ways I could have stopped this from happening. And believe me, there are a lot. I could have not gone to that party, I could have waited for Leo, I could have been calm, I could have not accepted that first beer, I could have not accepted that second beer, I could have not accepted that third, fourth, possibly even fifth beer, as by that part of the night things were starting to get a bit fuzzy and I can’t quite remember what I drunk. And most of all, I could have not let James Sirius Potter kiss me.
Okay, so I hear you going ‘Dah? You mean James Sirius Potter, Harry Potters son, the most popular kid in school, and boyfriend of two years to Scarlett Macmillan?’ Well, yes, I mean precisely that James Sirius Potter. Okay, so I see you still don’t believe me - I'll give you the play-by-play.
I, for once, looked pretty good.
Ruth had been in a good mood and had helped me get dressed. She has great taste in clothes and had even offered to lend me something, but Ruth, no offence to her as I know she’s extremely sensitive about it, is a little chubby, and I weight approximately the same as a box of matches. So she’d hunted out my best clothes, a snazzy red top I’d never worn which kind of made my non-existent boobage look there, and some nice jeans. I’d wanted to wear heels too, I thought to hell with it, I might as well go all out - but then Ruth pointed out that me and Leo were toeing the line as it was, and it is so not cool to be taller than your date.
So I’d settled for flats and me and Ruth had gone downstairs to meet the boys. Ruth was going with the Hufflepuff Quidditch captain, John Macmillan, twin brother of the infamous Scarlett. She was pretty chuffed about that. I am sadly unpopular and I’ve accepted it, but Ruth is always trying desperately to claw herself up to the level of Hogwarts royalty. I, of course, was going with Leo, my then-boyfriend.
We went through all the usual formalities, saying how great everyone else looked, blah, blah, blah. Then we went to the party. It was in the Room Of Requirement, as it was every year. I say every year - it was an annual thing, technically, because it was celebrating Roxanne Weasley’s birthday. But they did it every time one of the many, many Weasley cousins had a birthday, so parties at Hogwarts were pretty common. By now we all knew the drill.
And the drill was this - anyone who was either vaguely attractive, vaguely popular, or knew someone who was vaguely attractive or vaguely popular, could come. Slytherins were less welcome than some but the divide had lessened significantly in the past few years, especially since Albus Potter was in Slytherin.
If you were one of the cool kids, you had the run of the room. If you were one of the undesirables who had been graced with permission to attend, you had to talk to your own kind or wait at the edge until a popular approached you. So long as you didn’t piss anyone off or make a nuisance of yourself, you could pretty much do whatever.
Despite the illusion that all Ravenclaws care about is studying, a lot of us were regular attendees. I especially had a bit of a loathing for most of my lessons. Potions was the golden exception. So we weren’t afraid to let our hair down for this.
We arrived and almost immediately John and Ruth peeled away to go chat to Roxanne. I could tell that would be thrilling Ruth, because she loved any excuse to talk to a Weasley. They were, after all, the rulers of Hogwarts. Being friend with just one Weasley could make you eternally popular, even if it was a dithery one like Molly or an annoying one like Fred. I cared less about those sorts of things, and simply deposited our gift on the table and went to dance. That was one of the only rules at these parties - you had to bring a gift. Me and Ruth always just got them sweets.
The night got later and later, as nights tend to do (it would have been weird if it had got earlier and earlier), until it was about Eleven O’clock. Me and Leo were dancing slowly, staring into each others eyes, probably drooling, just being generally disgusting and mushy. Most people were either pissed, snogging, or both. All the corners and sofas were taken up with the writing bodies of strangers who would never speak again, and the spaces in between were taken up with trashed teenagers playing stupid games and falling over. And because this was the Room of Requirement, anyone who required a little more privacy could just ask for it and a bedroom would appear.
And this was my plan exactly. Because there was a reason I’d got dressed up in my prettiest outfit, straightened my hair and put on matching underwear.
I’d decided it was time to lose my virginity.
So once I decided nobody was sober enough to notice us slipping away I shot Leo a flirty look and led him by the hand to a little room that I made appear in an alcove. I locked the door carefully behind us and pushed him back onto the bed which dominated most of the tiny space.
And we made out.
Leo seemed to be getting thoroughly into it for a while. I took this as a sign of encouragement, and started getting a bit more enthusiastic. I hadn’t even had any beer at this point - I’d decided I didn’t want to run the risk of not remembering my first time, or screwing it up ‘cus I was pissed, which is really ironic - so I wasn’t quite sure where all my newfound confidence was coming from.
And eventually I thought, yeah, okay, let’s get on with it, and pulled away so I could fish the condom out of my pocket. Hey, I might be a rubbish Ravenclaw but I’m a Ravenclaw nonetheless. We’re sensible.
But the condom, far from pushing me and Leo further into the throngs of passion like I’d hoped, seemed to ignite some deep panic inside of him. He sat up and pushed me off his lap. I sat there, staring at him with wide, confused eyes. Looking back on it, I must have looked pathetic. My hair was messed up, my top was hanging around my waist, totally revealing my lacy vest, and under that my black bra. My shoes were nowhere to be seen and I was hunched over like a little girl afraid she’s about to get told off.
“What?” I asked defensively.
"I… I don’t know if we should do this now, Bollie,” he said cagily, edging towards the door. I realise he hadn’t lost any clothing at all.
“Why not?” I asked, my voice wavering. “We’ve been dating for months and months. We love each other. We’ve got a condom and everything.”
He wouldn’t look at me. His eyes were fixed firmly on a point in the corner of the room.
“I… I just don’t think we’re ready,” he said pathetically, and he knew I was going to blow up at him. No girl likes being rejected, not even a nutter like me.
So I yelled, and be apologised, and I yelled some more and broke up with him, and he left the door wide open when he went so anyone who cared to look could have seen me sat, looking pathetic, crying alone on a bed.
I thought everyone would be too preoccupied by this time to care about little old me, and the party was starting to thin a bit anyway. But I was wrong. About ten minutes later I saw a figure in the doorway holding two glass bottles out to me.
"Heard your fight,” the figure said, his voice a little slack - he was drunk, but not off his face.
“Yeah. Me too,” I said, because through my tears I’d noticed that the figure was James Potter and that pretty much dried up the witty retort I might have been able to think of otherwise.
"Want a drink?” he asked, advancing towards the bed.
I hesitated. I’d never been one for drinking. But then I thought of Leo and my sense went out the nearest emergency exit, so I grabbed one of the bottles and chugged about half of it in one go. It burned my throat and I wretched attractively.
James watched this with wary eyes, and then said, “Want a hug?” in a rather different tone of voice. I felt my eyes mist up and I nodded, and before I knew it we had our arms wrapped around each other on the bed.
Now I know what you’re thinking here. But really, I’m not that easy. I’ve only had half a beer at this stage.
Although that soon changed.
Me and James had a disconnected, nonsensical conversation about life, love, and the probability that centaurs and merpeople will one day mate to make a race snobbier than the human imagination ever thought possible. Every now and then he would go and get more beers, the types varying throughout the night. After the first bottle, which I wasn’t fond of, turned out to be Firewhiskey, he got plastic cups filled with a much more agreeable substance. I found myself really liking it more and more as the night went on, and that made it harder to say no to another one.
And at about two AM, October third, James Sirius Potter kissed me.
It was a sloppy kiss, born out of beer and loneliness, and it was a bit disgusting because he tasted like soggy pretzels. But after a few moments I found myself really warming up to it.
But when his hands went to my bum, I pulled away.
“I should get going,” I said in a quiet, husky voice, which didn’t sound like me. He sighed, pulled away too, and nodded. “It’s late,” I added lamely, as though we didn’t both know why I was going. But ‘It’s late’ is a lot less awkward than ‘I’m not a tramp and I’m not going to have drunken party sex with you when I’ve only spoken to you once in my life’.
“I'll walk you to your common room,” he replied a moment later, running a hand through his hair and looking away. “I don’t want you getting caught. Filch might be an old nutter but he’s got a bloody good nose for rule breakers.”
I nodded gratefully. I truly didn’t want to make the long trek back to Ravenclaw Tower all alone, with nothing to do but wallow in my own misery.
We stood up, and I was extremely glad I’d opted not to wear the heels, because I probably would have come straight back down again. I hunted my shoes out from under the bed and carried them in one hand. James took the other.
I can’t imagine what people thought when they saw us leave the room, but everyone was too drunk to remember it anyway. I hadn’t fixed my appearance, so my top was still hanging off and the world could still see my bra through my stupidly see-through tank top. Not to mention I was padding about in my odd socks - one pink with unicorns, the other grey with hippogriffs.
We reached the Ravenclaw Tower uncaught and James turned to me.
“Night,” he said kindly, giving my hand a small squeeze. And suddenly it was like I noticed that my brain was running on half-capacity and I hadn’t made nearly enough stupid decisions to show it, so I leapt forwards and crushed our faces together in a frenzied, slightly disgusting kiss.
When we pulled apart, panting, there was a wild glint in his eyes and a breathless smile on his face, and I knew I must look just as manic as he did.
“Do you still want to…?” I asked, trailing off suggestively. He didn’t answer, just nodded and stuck his tongue down my throat. And somehow we managed to manoeuvre ourselves into a Broom Cupboard and then we were tearing at clothes and banging heads on shelves and cursing and kissing and falling to the floor, and the next day I woke up early, sore and cold with the worlds worst hangover, and left before he could see me.
And that is how I lost my virginity to James Potter in a Broom Cupboard, and started my life as a complete and utter cliché.