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Chapter 13: You Inspire Me
You Inspire Me
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
I am looking for an inspiration
And I think I found it in your heart
It's the kind of thing you get when you're not looking
It's the kind of thing you had from the start
"Don't Take Your Love Away", Vast
I've been successfully avoiding Faldo for three very tiring days. Tiring 'cause, well... You can't even imagine how sociably active that boy is. I knew beforehand that people find him great. But I didn't realize just how much until I started going out of his way. It's like, I can't even talk to anyone because at some point they'll notice Faldo and wish to chat with him, too. It's hard staying away. But I have to hide.
I mean, can you blame me? I bloody kissed the guy! And then, he didn't return the kiss. And on top all of that, I realized I'm in love with him! How do you behave after that? Come on, enlighten me! I'd sure want to hear some good suggestions.
Only, there aren't any! Because I made such a fool out of myself that it's impossible to look him in the eyes anymore. Thankfully, I'm still semi suceessful at this whole avoiding affair.
Such a natural genius, aren't I?
I jump up again. Again, 'cause I've been doing that non stop these past three days. Nothing to do with my irrational fear that it's Faldo. Every. Single. Time.
Thankfully, it turns out it's only Al. And he's looking at me with curious eyes.
"What are you doing behind that shelf there?" He frowns at me.
I glance at the old book shelf desperatelly, trying to make up a cogent excuse as fast as I can.
What was I doing, really?
Well, see, I was reading that damned book Faldo suggested. Because, you know, I'm such a looser, remembering every little detail about him. That's when he walked into the library. Fortunately, I noticed him before he noticed me. So I did the only rational thing.
"Is Faldo still here?" I blurt out.
Damnit! Now Al will know I'm avoiding him. Why am I so stupid?!
"No. Are you avoiding him?"
"No-o?" I try.
He laughs, seeing perfectly through my failed attempt. "Dora, come out."
I growl but still listen to him, leaving my hiding spot to step out on the dark corridor.
Al pats me on the back affectionately. "What did you do this time?"
"Why do you assume I did something?!"
He raises his eyebrow.
"Ok, it was totally me." I moan. "I made a stupid mistake and now everything is so fucked up between us."
Al continues to look at me, nodding his head lightly and waiting for the full explanation to come.
Should I tell him?
Oh, what the heck. If I can keep his secret, he will do so with mine, too. I'll make sure of it.
In spite of myself, I start to stutter. "I-I..."
Breath, Dora. Breath. Remember air? It's actually good for you.
I bite my lip.
"You're in love with him?"
I blink at Al who begins to laugh.
"How did you know?!" I hiss.
Al hushes me as the Library lady starts to look around for the source of yelling. We hide deeper into the library, where it's completely deserted. And kind of scary, too. I shouldn't have snickered when Faldo confessed about his slight fear of the dark. I'm actually going to start believing this whole karma ordeal is real.
If Lee ever hears of this, I will never get the end of it, will I?
Al must have sensed my fluster, since he picks his wand and casts a soft Lumos. The library lady doesn't notice as we are too deep in the back of the room at this point.
"How did you know?" I repeat in a hushed voice.
"Well, it was kind of obvious, really." He shrugs with nonchalance.
Oh my Heavens, do they all know?! Are they having RoR meetings every weekend without my knowledge and organizing betting polls on my love life? Oh Heavens, they totally are, aren't they?!
"Dora, calm down." Al chuckles upon sighting my freaked out expression. "You're acting like I said I'm going to kill you."
"Well, you are." I squeak madly. "If you tell anyone, I'm actually going to die!"
He smiles at me and pats my head.
I hate him.
Clearing my throat, I cast a curious look in his direction. "So... when did you..."
"I began suspecting it when I caught you staring at him a couple of times." He explains.
Oh, come on. When did I do that?!
Ok, so maybe I've been doing that a lot lately.
Still. I thought it was subtle enough. Guess I'm just not that good of an actress.
"But I let it go." Al adds briskly. "Then, when you attacked me with your rather scary words just to get the cloak and help him... I knew it was more serious than just a flighty attraction."
I open my mouth to trow my witty response at him but, of course, nothing comes out.
I'm pathetic. Seriously now.
Al takes my hand gently. "Dora, I love you, but you're so blind sometimes. It was right there in front of you, this whole time. And you just kept insisting on Louis. It was ridiculous. I mean, yes, Louis is a great guy and he's my cousin, but... he's just not Drake. Am I right?"
I swallow hard, realizing the simplicity and complete truth in that one statement.
But he's just not Drake.
Why did it take me so long to see that? It didn't matter if Louis was funny and warm and a hell of a lot handsome. What mattered was the fact that... it was Faldo all along. And Louis couldn't compare. Not even if he was perfect (Which he is not. Just saying.)
Simple as that.
"Well, if you were so smart, why didn't you tell me anything?!" I bark at him with anger, but it's really directed at myself and my procrastination.
"Because... It wasn't my thing to tell." He winks at me.
I sigh and close my eyes, a sharp toil pressing me down.
"So..." Al continues slowly, breaking the heavy silence. "When are you going to confess it to him?"
My eyes flutter open dramatically. "Never!"
Al frowns, raising an eyebrow at me. "So you're just going to avoid him for the rest of your lives?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"That plan sucks big time." He mocks.
"Shut up." I cross my arms and pout like the whiny oversized baby that I am. "Let's see you come up with a better one."
He tries to speak but I beat him to it. "One that doesn't actually involve telling the truth!"
Al sighs, clearly giving up. "You're so stubborn."
"No, I'm persistent." I correct him.
"That's just a fancy way of telling me that you're pigheaded."
I stick my tounge out at him.
Al rolls his bright eyes. He takes a book from the shelf (One about making potions, of course.) and sends one last chaste look in my direction.
"This is your chance to be brave, Dora. Maybe you should consider taking it."
Al squeezes my shoulder softly and leaves me in the dark shadow of the shelf to feel exhausted and empty.
And a bit guilty, too.
I hate that feeling.
And why do they all play on the bravery card with me, anyway? Like seriously, I'm not a Gryffindor for a reason! I wish someone would understand that for a change!
Even though I like it when Faldo supports my rare courage.
Heavens, I’m a complete emotional wreck.
* * *
The plan to avoid Faldo for the rest of our lives goes perfectly.
That is, until around eight o'clock the next evening, when I spot him coming out of the Great Hall with Al and Scorpius. The fact that he also looks great doesn't help. At all.
"Blue?" He notices me and his voice breaks a little.
Or that might just be my heart.
I squeal and start running. My head races like mad as I stumble to the first door. I try to open it forcefully and hide inside the classroom, hopefull that Faldo won't find me. (I am so full of brilliant plans lately. Really, why am I in Ravenclaw, again?) But I find that the door is locked. As I feel the panic overtaking me, I mutter a quick Alohomora and storm in.
But when I turn around, I almost wish I was back outside again. Actually, I do wish I was outside.
My eyes grow wide as I stare at Roxy and Owen practically eating each other's faces off. Also, Owen's hand is dangeroulsy close to Roxy's... you know. No? Well, her... behind.
I shriek and cover up my eyes maniacally.
"Oh Heaves, oh Heavens! Can I unsee this, please?!"
"Dora!" Roxy runs to me and puts my shaky hands down.
I glance at her flushed face. Then at Owen's parted lips. Than at Roxy's untidy skirt. Then at his tie on the floor. Then at her...
"Dora! For Snitch's sake, snap out of it!" Roxy shakes me a little.
"I can't." I stare at her. "Too. Stunned."
She rolls her eyes, annoyed. "Like you didn't know, Sherlock."
"I didn't! I swear! I'm... I'm not that observant anymore..."
I trail off thinking of Faldo and how he really was there all this time. More precisely four years. And I didn't notice.
"What the fuck are you talking about? Dora, you're scaring me." Roxy stares at me, worried.
I look back at her. And at Owen, who's blushing furiously.
"Are you guys in love?" I mutter under my breath before I even realize what it is that I’m asking.
It's as if that's all I'm thinking about these days.
It scares me. I'm not supposed to be so mawkish. That's Lee. I'm sarcastic. I'm realistic. I'm sane. I'm not in love.
Except, I totally am.
Roxy glances at Owen and they both flush. She turns around to face me again.
"Well, I haven't really thought about it 'till now. But..." She inhales lightly. "Yeah. I guess I'm in love with him."
"You are?" Owen finally speaks up, his voice cracking slightly.
Roxy walks back to him smiling. They kiss.
I gaze at them, my heart trembling. Omigosh! Why am I crying?!
"You guys are so sweet." I succeed to utter before running out like a mad person, ignoring Roxy’s yelling for me to wait.
Because I am a mad person, honestly. I've gone crazy.
I guess... this is what really being in love does to you...
I finally understand Lee.
Heavens, how pathetic. How wrong is this?
And yet, it feels so strangely good.
I am so fucked up.
* * *
I lay on my bed reading 'Days of Apparition'. And one more detail. I'm kind of sobbing.
Isn't that shocking? Not at all? Yeah, I thought so, too.
Damn it, Faldo. I hate him. I just... I hate him for doing this to me! I hate this stupid book for being so touching. I hate that he's so sensitive. I hate that I can't read a word now without thinking of him doing the same. I hate it.
I look up to see Ophelia sneak in.
So, things have been a little awkward ever since I realized she likes Faldo. And since he told her that he only sees her as a dear friend. I tried to not be with Faldo when she's around. But seeing how, even though at the time I wasn't aware that I liked him myself, I was doing just that-it was hard. Ophelia, being so annoyingly nice, stayed her nice self the whole time.
Yeah, I hate her, too.
"Are you ok?"
"Well, you're pretty much drowning in your own tears there."
I whipe my face and snort, impying the 'duh'. "It's a sad book."
She casts a curious glance at the covers and smiles. "It is, indeed. Drake recomended it to me a while ago."
I sigh, a little unsettled by the fact that Faldo talks about his interests with her, when he has me for that. Heavens, does that mean I'm... jealous?
Oh, no. This is seriously rock bottom.
"Me too." I mutter finally.
She gazes at me for a moment until finally speaking up again. "Dora, can I ask you a question?"
I nod, albeit a little hesitant.
"Are you in love with him?"
Ok, what is this?! Is that all people are asking me these days? Honestly. All right, I get it that I was kind of obvious. But can't they give me a break? Heavens!
And what shall I do, anyway? Should I tell her the truth? She won't like it.
I must have had a very read-friendly expression since Ophelia nods her head and smiles. "Thought so."
I sigh, frustrated. "I'm sorry, Ophelia. I know you like him, too. But it took me by surprise. I was convinced that I like Louis. And then I kissed Faldo while I was still with Louis. I'm such a bitch, I know. And I hate myself. Because... it felt good. It felt fucking amazing. And I don't even regret it. Not really. I want to. Because I know what a horibble thing I did. But I just can't. I'm sorry."
I bury my face in my palms feeling just a tad ashamed. It was about time, too.
Suddenly, a warm hand settles on my back. I look up to see Ophelia smiling at me.
"I take it you didn't really want to tell me all of this."
"I can't hold it in anymore, either." I whisper. "I'm suffocating."
"You know I'm not the adequate person for this, though. Right?" She raises her eyebrows at me.
I nod, resigned.
She gets up to go to the bathroom and gives me another short look. "Oh, and for the record, I don't think you should regret it. Kissing him, I mean."
I shift, not really comfortable with the fact that Ophelia is bringing up our smooch. Or rather, my smooch. Since, you know, Faldo just... stood there during it.
She doesn't twitch though, not even for a second, her voice steady. "When it comes to love, caution should be forgotten."
And with a soft wink, Ophelia vanishes into our bathroom.
How are all these people so nice? Am I the only bitch around?
I lay back on my bad and cover my face with the book.
What is my life, seriously?
It's as if all I ever make are stupid decisions. No wonder people don't like me. I'm too hard to love. Faldo was right, all those years ago. It's not because of my dad. I've been hiding behind his broken image, not admiting that it's me who they hate. And Faldo... He'll never...
I'm just not right for... anyone. I understand Alice now. Maybe it's better to be alone. For other people's sake. For his sake... Not that he will ever see me that way...
Come on, sleep, why are still you not here?
I'm just so, so tired...
* * *
I decide that it's time to visit Professor Longbottom again. It's been a while. Since I suceeded in staying away from Marilyn, we didn't have an opportunity to meet again this year. Prior to this one, we'd usualy have at least five conversations by now. I guess you can call that progress. In a very twisted way.
As soon as I announce myself, he lets me in without hesitation.
I creep inside, the sound of the fire from his fireplace piercing through the warm air. When our glances finally clash, Professor Longbottom smiles at me.
"I was wondering if you'd visit me again at all this year. I should be happy about that. But... can you keep a secret?"
I nod, curious.
"I miss our conversations." He smiles and I do, too.
"How's Alice?" I ask in return. "I mean, I saw her yesterday, but we didn't have a chance to really talk ever since..."
Professor Neville flinches but covers it up quickly with a stern expression. "She's fine. Did you know about..."
"I knew." I sigh, biting my lip. "But she begged me to stay quiet about it. I believed she would eventually tell You, though. That's why I waited. Still, I'm sorry."
He points to the chair and I carefully take my seat.
"It's fine, Dora. It's quite unsettling just how much guilt you feel about... well, everything. You shouldn't do that."
I look up sharply. "But-"
"Trust me, get rid of it. You should do whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy."
"I do want to be happy." I whisper finally, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"I know." Professor Neville nods with warmth. "And, concerning that..."
He gets up with a wink and vanishes behind a door to the left. Ruffling noises are heard while I wait for him to appear again.
Finally, he does. With a bunch of ancient looking books.
"What is that?" I actually fear for my life (They are bloody enormous, ok?! I am a Ravenclaw, but that doesn't mean I can't be intimidated by a large pile of papers, from time to time.).
"It's some literature I got from our Headmistress. I had a quite glorius reading urge when I first got here. I wanted to know everything about anything." He giggles. "Needless to say, it didn't last very long."
He points to the thick dust covering the books and I chuckle.
"I heard that you're actually quite good at Transfiguration." He adds then with a proud grin. "Professor Aeldra is rather fond of you and your affairs."
"Well, who would've thought." I smile.
That woman has been really stern lately. And her 'You're good!' and 'Please, tell me you're joking.' frowns are just too similar to distinguish these days.
"Does doing Transfiguration make you happy?" Professor Neville wonders.
Closing my eyes for a moment, I try to think of the right answer.
As it turns out, it comes to me quite naturally and without any bigger effort. "Yes, I guess I am happy when I do Transfiguration, 'cause... I feel like I'm actually good at something and that I deserve respect because of it."
He pierces me with his dark and somewhat annoyingly wise look. "So... Do you think that's your calling?"
I frown, drifting away.
I always stray from thinking about the future. But the fact is, my future is slowly coming and I need to confront it. Or it will leave me behind.
"I-I don't like children." I blurt out all of a sudden.
Professor Neville bursts into laughter.
I smile, in spite of myself.
"At least not at this point." I add, knowing just how much of a bitch karma has been lately...
I really should learn to never say never.
"You don't want to be a professor then, I take it."
"That I'm sure of." I laugh a little, too.
Professor Longbottom gives me an entertainted look before speaking again.
"As I told you before, I'm positive there's something great waiting for you, Dora. That's why I want you to take these, nonetheless." He points to the books again. "Maybe you'll find some inspiration."
He shoves them into my arms.
Clearly, he doesn't considere the fact that they're super heavy. And my arms are a little fragile, thank you very much.
"Thanks..." I moan out.
"Now, now. Don't be like that. Trust me, Dora." He gazes at me with care again and I can't help but feel nothing but affection toward this man. "When you begin doing just what you love, when you begin living just the way you want to and with whom you want... Everything that is pressing you now... It'll be gone."
"Does that also mean that I... I should be with the person I love, too?" I mutter, blushing.
Professor Neville smiles at me in surprise. "Oh... Are you... you're in love?"
I nod hesitantly, feeling that my cheeks are burning from embarrassement.
"Wait, was that the real reason you came here in the first place?" He frowns slightly. "I'm sorry, Dora. I tend to overdo it with this advicing thing..."
"No. No! I mean, yes, but I needed this whole talk. So you didn't exaggerate at all." I assure him.
"You're avoiding the topic, Dora." He reminds me.
I sigh, defeated. "Yes, I'm in love. Sadly."
"Why would you say that?" He crosses his arms over his chest.
"Is this appropriate, Professor?" I wonder out loud. "I mean, you are my professor and maybe..."
"Dora." He pats my hand over the desk. "I'm more than your professor. You're my daughter's friend. She talks about you all the time, you know."
I smile at that, picturing Alice chatting with her father about me.
As time passes by, I feel like Alice and I are becoming more like long lost sisters, than anything else. Sure, I love Roxy and Charlie. But, Alice just has a special place in my heart.
"I will always be grateful to those who care about Alice. Especially now." He gives me a knowing look and I smile sligthly.
"And that's why you can trust me. At least, I hope."
I nod my head, breathing out.
"So?" He tilts his head to the side and gazes at me with interest.
"So... " I sigh and decide to tell the truth. "I'm in love but he only sees me as a friend."
"Are you sure of that? Did you ask him?"
Professor Longbottom raises an eyebrow at me.
"But! But I just know." I add in quickly before he can say anything.
He starts to laugh again and I feel sick. Why am I doing this? It hurts even talking about it.
"You need to tell him how you feel, Dora." Professor Neville assures me.
"It's not just that, either." I shake my head. "I don't think I deserve him."
"No wait! He... He's perfect and I'm-"
"Dora, just... stop." Professor Neville sighs, visibly frustrated. "What did I tell you? You need to let this go. If you keep insisting that you're not good enough, then at some point you'll convince yourself of it in such a measure that you'll never be happy. Not even if you do all the things that are supposed to make you happy. They'll suddenly seem ridiculous and laughable and wrong. You need to accept yourself fully. Trust me, I should know."
"So..." I utter, feeling shattered. "So I should just embrace my inner freak?"
He nods, smiling. "Absolutely."
"I've been trying to do that..." I whisper.
"Then try harder." He sighs, looking at me. "I see so much of myself in your behaviour, Dora."
"Well, why is that so wrong? Clearly, You are a great person. And a quite happy one, too. If I'm not mistaken."
"I am." He nods. "But I wasn't always."
He gazes at me for a silent moment. "I think that maybe... You just need a push."
"A push?" I blink, confused. "What exactly is that?"
"Well, it's different to different people, I guess. For instance, I needed to do something heroic so that I could start seeing myself that way and finally embrace everything else, too. With you... I don't know. Maybe you need to see that this boy loves you, so that you can understand that you truly are worth it."
"But what if he doesn't..."
"Then, you'll move on and find something else. Dora, please, just don't give up. That's all I'm asking. You know how much I want to see you truly happy."
I nod, sighing deeply. I let the pleasant silence overtake the room for a few moments, until I speak again. "Thank you for everything."
"Any time." He smiles at me in a warm and fatherly way. "I hope that you'll come visit me again. This time, to tell me some good news."
"I hope, too."
I get up slowly, casting a quick Wingardium Leviosa to help myself with all the gigantic books.
And when I finally get outside, I realize that I'm just being whiny again. I'm trying to find reasons to not act on my feeling. Trying to chalk it up to other problems. Yes, it's all connected in a way. But the point is, I'm hiding. And if I want to be happy, which I do, like everybody else, I need to step out and do something.
It's just scary and I don't think I can right now.
Professor Neville is right. I need a push. Something. Anything from Faldo. So that I can know what he's feeling.
And who knows... maybe, somewhere deep... deep down...
... he's feeling the same...
* * *
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I turn around, putting my pillow over my head. The sound doesn't stop, though.
I get up, furious when I realize that, yes, again, it's an owl. Only this time, it's a snowy white one.
I mutter under my breath angry and let her in. The owl looks at me with wonder. What? She's totally staring at me! I love animals but not all of them are cute. Exhibit A.
I take the small blue letter that's safely attached to her leg, not breaking eye contact.
Ok, I'm so fucked up, I'm even scared of an owl! What is this?!
Stupid Faldo and his stupid ability to mess with my head, without even knowing it!
I take a deep breath in and turn it over slowly and that's when my breath cuts off suddenly.
It's Faldo's handwriting. I'd know that crazy 'o' anywhere.
I nervously open it, my hands shaking. The paper is smooth and blue and his light letters run over it like water. It's not adressed to me with a note in a 'Dear Dora' fashion or anything similar. Rather, it immediately starts with his soulful words.
Sometimes, a beauty is hidden, even though it's in your reach. For reasons unknown, you cannot see. You walk, breath, live beside it year after year, not knowing.
And then, in one moment, the dark becomes light, and you're not blind anymore. You know. You finally know.
What, you may ask? What is that knowledge?
It's everything. It's her laugh. It's her sorrow. It's her fear. It's her lonelyness. It's her confusion. It's her strength. It's her everything. It's her alone.
And you're scared of this knowledge, because it's bigger than you. It's bigger than anything you ever thought you knew. And you run and you hide and try to forget. Because it's different. And you can't understand. You can't breath, because it's hurting you. It's hard being away. And it's hard not, too.
Alas, I'm just a frightened boy, lost, without a real direction in my life. I though I wanted to be alone. I though it was for the best. But, like many things I don't know, this is a lie. I want, nay, I need you by my side.
And I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn’t see. I'm sorry I wasn't aware. I'm sorry I made a mistake. But I'm only human and humans do that.
I'll wait for you, in that place only we know of. I'll wait for you to forgive me.
If you don't come, I'll understand. But... I just want you to know that... I finally know, too.
I drop the paper, my heart slowing down. And Professor Neville's words come back, haunting me.
I just know, this is it.
And then, suddenly, my mind is speeding. Words that want out. Words that need to be spoken want to break free. But he's not here. He's...
In that place only we know of...
Realization hits me instantly and I run outside, leaving my asleep room mates behind.
All the while as I'm racing through the halls I'm still not able to see clearly. Not knowing what to think exactly. I just know I need to do this.
And that's exactly when I bump into Louis Weasley.
Or rather, he bumps into me.
Upon spotting me on the floor, his face lights up.
"Dora, thank Merlin! What a great coincidence!"
He helps me up and I stumble a little.
"Oh, yes, just... great." I say through greeted teeth.
But Louis doesn't notice my tone, thankfully.
"I need your help." He squeezes my hand and takes a shaky breath. "It's James."
So by this point you should've guessed, Louis and I are on friendly terms now. Yes, we spoke again. It wasn't akward. I finally realized what made me dislike him as a boyfriend. It wasn't the fact that he was annoying. It was just the fact that I was already in love with Faldo. And he was just an obstacle in my mind. Even though it was all in my subconscious back then. So, when I finally got out of that failed relationship, I saw the potentional Louis trully has. And you know what? I think I'd like to have him around. Even though he is a bit too touchy for my likings.
"Please, Dora." Louis looks desperate. "He won't listen to me. I thought, since, you know, he's doing everything to redeem your relationship, he will to you."
I gaze back in the direction of the Owlery.
Why do shits like these happen to me in the most inappropriate of times? Seriously, karma. Give me a break, will you?
I stand there, torn between the desire to find Faldo and the fact that James is apparently having a nervous break down. I should be thinking of myself first. But... But James is my cousin and...
And I'm scared.
Yes, all right, I'm still scared of facing Faldo. As long as I dream about it, everything is mellow. But now that the reality is waiting for me up there in the Owlery... Honestly? It's terrifying. So, this is the easier option, in the end.
Guh, I'm being a bitch again. Or rather, a coward.
I nod my head, surrending to my weak side. "All right. Let's go."
* * *
I find James in the kitchens, stuffing himself with food, all the house elfs rushing to please him. He seems rather tired and mopish. Just as I expected.
"Hey." I wave sligthly.
"Dora?" He drops his potato. "What are you doing here?"
"Louis told me..." I shrug.
On the way to the kitchen, I talked to Louis and he confessed that James is having a not so good post Albus-is-moving reaction. And since James really has gone out to help me this year, I thought I should return the favor. (Plus, you know, I’m a major coward and that’s the real reason I’m here. But shhh.)
"Oh... Ok." James answers meekly.
I sigh. "James, it's really hard seeing you like this."
"Why?" He stuffs another potato down his throat.
"Well, what do you think?"
He gazes at me, clearly confused.
"I care about you, James." My voice breaks a little.
James immediately jumps from his seat, hugging me. I lean into him and sigh.
"You seriously just made my whole day, Dora."
"James, please, snap out of it." I rub his back tenderly.
"I can't." He looks me in the eyes suddenly and there is so much pain in there that it makes me flinch. "He's my brother. It may not look as if I like him that much, but I really do. He's... He's a great brother and..."
"I know." I squeeze his hand, trying to suit him. "But you'll still have Louis."
"Whom you ditched, as I hear." He suceeds to smile a little. "I'm just wondering... who's the guy?"
I blush. "Well..."
"Someone I know? Well, he's obviously from Hogwarts so I should know him. Who is he?"
"James, we were talking about you and Al." I warn him, hoping he'd stay away from the topic.
Thankfully, James nods, looking away for a moment.
"You probably think I'm stupid for reacting like this." He suddenly snorts. "I mean, it's not like he's dying. Just moving away..."
"I don't think you're stupid. At all." I whisper. "If anything, this side of you... it just makes me love you more."
James looks up at me with a faint smile and a trace of surprise in his warm eyes.
I then ralize that I never did say that to him. That I love him. I myself didn't exactly know I feel that way about him. Care, sure. But real, deep love? Not until now.
I hold his hand in silence before he manages to utter. "Can we... Can you just hug me for now?"
I smile and lean into him again. James buries his face into my hair and sighs deeply. His breathing is short and broken and I want to tell him that it's fine. That everything is going to be ok.
But I remember then just how much I'll miss Al, too.
And the only thing I can do is continue embracing him with all my warmth and heart.
* * *
When I leave the kitchen, I'm so exhausted, I almost fall flat on the floor. But that doesn't erase my memory of a certain letter I got this morning.
I stand there in the hallway, in the middle between the Owlery and our dorm, and I wonder... What should I do? Is Faldo still there? Is he waiting for me? And the most important thing... Does this mean that he...
I choke up, not able to even think about that possibility.
But then... I see his smile and I feel the kiss and I want to find him. Yes! I want to find out. I need to know. Is this real?
I suddenly take a deep breath and turn to the right.
But when I finally reach the Owlery, my hands start shaking and I can't breath.
Why is this so hard?
Come on, Dora. You can do this! It's Faldo. Remember? You can handle him. Well, you were able to. But you can do it again! Sure you're in love with him and sure that scares the crap out of you. But it's still Faldo.
I force a smile, still not completely sure about all of this, and finally walk inside.
But when I enter my hide away palace, I stop amain. 'Cause...
He's not there.
The air is cold and all the owls are still and asleep. The day outside is already running away, making place for the chilly night.
And it's so hollow.
I then notice a pile of papers scattered on the floor. I sit down, disappointed and pick one of them up, curiousity eating me alive.
My mood rises as I realize it's Faldo's handwriting again. I gather a few more of them in my hands and sit back, leaning against the cold wall. I may just as well see what this is about.
I start with a very untidy one in which Faldo's handwriting clearly indicates he's a tad younger.
I'm scared. I'm alone and scared. I wonder what will become of me. I don't know how I could have been so blind all these years. But I know it's for the best. I can finally move on and find myself. I can be who ever I want to be.
It scares me. But someday, it'll trill me. All the posibilities... A whole new life in front of me. A whole new Drake yearning to be found.
I can't wait for that day.
I let out a small gasp as I fathom that these are pages from his diary.
The fact that he wrote that letter for me trilled me. But this... This is letting me into his intimacy. Into him.
I wanted this so bad ever since he told me about his parents. But now that I have an opportunity to dive in... I can't remember if I know how to swim. Or rather, if I really want to.
Taking a deep breath, I decide to risk it anyway. Because... It's Faldo. It's stronger than me.
I slowly reach out for another one.
I think I want to write. The moment I found out about mother and father, I knew I wanted to change something. So... Why not? I surely don't want to be a Quidditch player. I mean, yes, I enjoy playing it. But it's not my calling. And I don't want to be a professor, either.
I think I want to write. So, starting tomorrow, I'm exploring the library. I hope I’ll find true inspiration someday. I really hope so...
"This is the most important one."
I initially freeze at the familiar voice.
Then, I slowly turn arond to see Faldo standing near the door.
His hair is falling in his eyes slightly but just enough for him to look under his locks almost in a shy fashion. And he has that I-can-see-into-your-soul-look, too. I struggle to breath all over again.
Finally, I suceed to stand up and he hands me the paper without a word. I take it, all the while glancing at him. He nods his head, sheepish.
I unfold it carefully and dive in again, secretly casting nervous glances at Faldo.
Oh Melin, how could I be so blind? She was there. Always. And she is amazing. And funny. And cute. And beautiful. And amazing.
I already said that, didn't I?
It's funny how I can't find enough words to describe her. I though it's because there aren't any. And that scared me. Because I thought I was so good at this. I thought I was a natural at finding the most brilliant of words. But I realize now that it shouldn't scare me. It should inspire me. Because... I want to find better words. I need to find them. And that is making me an even better writer. And it's all because of her.
Merlin, it's so simple that it's funny. And yet, it was so hard getting to it. I guess the simple things are indeed the hardest to comprehend.
My breath hitches as I try to proceed his words.
Is this really happening? Is he...
And I turn around slowly to stare at Faldo.
This is it.
A/N: So, I know I've been a little lazy with the update. Again! But life got in the way. And I mean that in the best way possible. Gah, I'm so in love, it's ridiculous! Sorry, I just needed to get that out. :D
Now about the story... Urgh, another cliffy? Sorry about that. I try to avoid these, but there you go. Can't do that every time. I hope you still like this one, though. Tell me what you think. :)
Also, sorry about the mistakes. I'll go back and correct them, if they are any (Probably are, lol.). I just wanted to update as fast as I could. :D