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Chapter 14: The Smiling Photography
The Smiling Photography
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. Except crazy ol' Dora and her even more crazy friend Charlie (Plus Owen, Dorian, Sam and other characters you don't recognize from HP.).
Baby, baby blue eyes
Stay with me, by my side
'Til the morning, through the night...
"Baby Blue Eyes", A Rocket To The Moon
There is a moment...
I know it sounds ridiculous and fairytale-ish (I don't care if it's not a word! ... It totally should be one, though, shouldn't it?) and Lee's influence is finally showing, but...
I don't know how to describe it. It's as if you feel cold and hot at the same time. And it should be strange. But, instead, you feel like... It all fits. It's... Gah, kill me now, but the only word I can think of is destiny.
Destiny is a heavy word. I try to avoid using it, throughout. But now, when he's here, looking at me as if I'm the last missing puzzle to complete... everything... It's suitable. It's perfect.
It somehow all makes sense.
I gaze at him, frightened out of my mind. Faldo looks scared, too. His deep blue eyes are glancing over ever so lightly. Like he can't manage to do so for any longer. Like it hurts. Well, I know how that feels.
After a moment of sheer emptiness, he finally walks over to me, shaking as he takes my hand. I drop the paper. It falls down slowly, painfully, just as my mind starts to race.
"You scare the shit out of me, Blue." He whispers.
Well, that was kind of...
"That's so romantic." I huff sarcastically, my heart beating.
Was I expecting a fabulous declaration of love?
Ok, maybe just a little. Shut up! No, ok, I would have settled for something more common. More... Faldo.
But this? What the fuck is this?!
And I suddenly start to panic. Why is he scared? It's totally my thing to be a coward! How are we going to do this if we're both frightened?
The most stupid words start to pour out of my mind and through my mouth. "Seriously? Did you read that in Witch Weekly's 'How To Charm Young Witches' article? 'Cause, believe me, that shit is as accurate as the rather foolish assumption that flobberworms are cute."
He stares at me in confusion.
"Charlie's words. Not mine." I clarify.
I don my defensive suit. My armor. It's a reflex. Just like him putting that indifferent facade all the time was.
He shakes his head, I'd say becoming impatient. "Shut up, Blue. I'm trying to say something here."
And then when I can actually see him trying, struggling to be brave... it scares me even more. This is our last chance to back out. Our last chance to forget everything and be friends for the rest of our lives. We can do that, right?
"I don't think you're doing a good job, though." I snap back.
What the fuck? Faldo rightfully glares at me.
"Just saying." I shrug, hiding my poor nerves.
"Urgh." He lets out a loud, frustrated scream. "You're so... you're so-"
"What?!" I scream back.
Ignoring my burst out, Faldo quickly takes a few steps toward me, clearly going in for a kiss. I stay stiff for a second, lost on any action to be taken upon. Then I step back, pushing him away roughly before our lips even brush.
"You think you can just walk in and kiss me when ever you want?!" I yell over my pounding heart. "I have a say in this, too, you know!"
"Ok, ok." He sighs, his look aghast and broken. "Then tell me, what do you want?! 'Cause, if I remember correctly... You kissed me."
His voice drops and I can see a trace of desperate hope in his eyes. He wants this. He wants me. But that knowledge doesn't make it any easier.
Have you ever been in love with someone so close to you? It's a constant battle. Should we come together and risk breaking up and becoming strangers to each other after everything? Or should we suppress it all and move on, safe in our denial?
It's no Hamlet, sure, but it's a hard decision nonetheless.
"That was... A reflex." I lie, choosing the second option.
It's safer. It's what we know.
"A reflex to what, exactly?" Faldo crosses his arms, curious.
"Well, you're hot." I say bluntly.
He raises his eyebrow.
"Hormones, man. Fucking hormones." I sigh.
Faldo then starts to laugh. And it's not a small, sweet laugh. I actually fear he'll suffocate.
I glare at him much like he did at me a few moments back. "What's so funny, Faldo?!"
"Oh, Blue." He shakes his head and chuckles. "You're hopeless."
"I beg to differ." Now I cross my arms.
"You're as scared as I am and just can't admit it!"
I blink at him, as his words cut deep into my chest and hit too close to home. It's scary how well he knows me. Or maybe it's because he understands.
"I'm not scared!" I lie again bluntly.
"Then why are you making this shit up?!"
"Faldo! You said shit too many times. You don't swear." I remind him, as if he isn't aware of that himself.
"Fuck! You drive me crazy." He mutters, ignoring my words completely.
"So cheesy." I roll my eyes, trying to seem annoyed.
"Blue, I'm warning you..."
"Of what?! Your boyish charm?" I shriek as I realize that my heart won't settle any time soon. "Ok, I think you're cute, but that doesn't mean I want to kiss you all the time!"
"All the time?" He suddenly smirks.
"I said, I don't want to kiss you! Heavens, listen, will you?!"
"There you go again!"
"I hate this, honestly!" Faldo almost yells.
I suddenly shudder as I notice just how much I'm tormenting him. "What?"
"I hate it that you make me so angry and yet, I adore it at the same time." He whispers in a sweet voice.
My heart flutters, but I quickly mask it with a sinister look. "You're a masochist, Faldo. Go talk to someone about that."
"Look who's speaking."
"I don't like you... That much."
"Why did you kiss me?" He goes to stare at me again and my whole body trembles as his words echo through the Owlery.
I tried so hard to hide and run. I put a crazy amount of my time and effort into it (Yes, three days is indeed a lot!) But, somehow, he always finds me.
How? It just isn't fair.
"Moment of insanity, I suppose." I mutter.
"This is ridiculous! Either you're coming over here or I'm coming there, Blue!" He indicates to the vast space that suddenly formed between us (Thanks to my constant elusion.).
"You can't treat me like this! You're so arrogant! It makes me sick!"
"You know it's not like that, Blue!" He gazes up at me with the most sincere, deep care. "You're just making things up so you don't have to take the risk."
I gaze at him, my heart beating in madness. It's as if he can read my mind. How does he do that? No, of course, I know he can't read my mind. I suppose we just really are that similar.
"I know, ok." He whispers broken. "I know it's terrifying. But if you could just try... I'm willing to... "
"You don't even like me Faldo." I answer in a hushed voice.
He glances at me in a pained way. As if he can't believe I would actually think something along those lines. As if he can't believe I don't see that he does like me.
Does he, though?
Heavens, my head is reeling!
"You're so stubborn, Blue. Fuck!"
Ok... there goes my answer, I guess.
"Why are you doing this?! Is it really that scary?!"
And, finally-I explode. Every fear, every hidden thought about him, about us, everything, pouring out in a desperate yelp.
"Of course it is, you jerk!" I scream and his eyes become a few shades darker as he gazes at me.
I breath in, shaking. "You're this... this great person... and I'm horrible! I kissed you while I was still with Louis! I'm whiny, I'm a coward, I'm messy and have no self-confidence. I'm too much to handle! I don't want to make your life even more difficult than it is already. Don't you get it?"
My eyes are burning, but I still manage to stay composed. How? I seriously don't have a fucking clue.
"I... I care about you too much to hurt you. And I will hurt you, eventually. And... then... you'll... you'll leave me."
I shut up abruptly, not quite believing I just said all of that.
My chest is hurting and I just want to run away. Maybe it would stop then. The rigid pain.
Faldo stares at me in shock. He then slowly steps away and my heart drops. Of course he was going to run away from me. I knew that. But seeing it now... it just hurts like hell.
Faldo picks up his head and our eyes lock.
"You're so stupid, Blue."
... Ok... That was kind of harsh. Even for brutally-honest-Faldo.
Suddenly, he comes back, closing the space between us slowly. He squeezes my arm and I flinch. Not because I'm scared of his touch, but because I'm scared of just how much I enjoy it.
"You think I don't know exactly who you are? I've spent four years getting to know you. And I'm still here. 'Cause, when..." He gasps and looses his voice for a second. "When you finally realize... that you want to be with someone... Nothing else matters. Not the circumstances, not their flaws, not the fear... Because the need to be together is... is so intense... You feel like you'll suffocate if you're not."
I stare at his eyes, feeling the tears wanting to break through.
"The question here is... " He gazes at me with a soft interest. "Do you want me? Do you need me? 'Cause... I need you."
And I officially start crying.
Faldo goes to embrace me tightly. His warm arms are calming but I'm still shaking. Why am I shaking? And my knees are going week. And I actually think I'm about to faint. Heavens, what is this?!
I find his cheeks and put my hands on them. Faldo looks into my eyes and I look back.
I choke out. "How can this be my life? It was always so... shitty."
He laughs. "I know exactly what you mean."
I look down, a huge blush creeping onto my face. "I do, you know."
"What?" Faldo frowns lightly.
"Need you." I whisper, embarrassed.
He then smiles and kisses the top of my head, hugging me again.
I look up at him in anticipation.
"What?" He seems confused again.
For someone so bright, he sure can be clueless. But look who's talking. Not that I'd say I'm smart. Well, actually, I would. I mean, I am in Ravenclaw, after all. Just ignore all my blond moments and you'll get it, too... Eventually... I think.
"Oh, for Heaven's sake." I stand on my toes and grab his cheeks, pulling his face closer.
And finally, I put my lips onto his. And you know what's amazing?
This time... he kisses me back. And oh, how he kisses me.
Faldo pulls a hand through my loose locks sending shivers down my back. Then, he brings me even closer and I almost want to shout-hello, personal space, here. Until he smiles against my lips in that soft way that makes me dizzy. Because, it's Faldo. And I want to kiss him. I don't crave my personal space when I'm with him.
The last faint brush of our lips is so warm and yet so deep, it leaves me breathless for a moment. I step away a little, my chest moving up and down.
Heavens, I feel like this is an out of body experience. Did I die? Am I actually dead? It would make sense.
I want to cry and laugh, all at the same time. Is that normal? How can this aching and this pleasant pain be normal, though? It's scary how amazing it feels. It's so fucking terrifying.
"That was fucking terrifying." I voice out my thought in sharp breaths.
Faldo glances at me, his breathing also cut short.
"Wanna do it again?" He offers with a raised eyebrow.
In all the excitement, we tilt our heads to the same side and collide in pain. I burst into a loud laughter. Faldo follows.
"Heavens, we are like a pair of kiss virgins." I giggle.
"We can read that Witch Weekly's 'Kissing for dummies' article together now." He winks.
I gasp. "You knew I was reading that?!"
"Blue, please." He snorts. "As if you would be reading a Potions book by your own will on a Saturday afternoon. Besides, I have a freakishly good sight."
I pull my hand through his hair and ruffle it up. "You're such a creep."
"But a kiss worthy one, I hope?"
I roll my eyes and hit him on his arm. Faldo instead pulls me into his embrace and we sit on the floor together, watching the evening graciously take over the castle.
And he kisses me.
* * *
"It's funny, you know." I utter, my head resting on his chest.
The faint winter moon is caressing our faces and I'm feeling pleasantly warm.
"What?" He answers back, playing with my fingers.
"We could have been together this whole time."
"I don't think so."
"No?" I turn around to gaze into his bright eyes.
He shakes his head. "If it happened sooner, I don't think it'd work. We still weren't ready for each other."
"So you believe in destiny, too?" I mock.
"Maybe a little. But don't tell anyone." He winks.
I giggle and sigh, resting my head on his shoulder again.
I think I could get used to this. I really, really do.
We stay still for a few silent moments, until an intriguing thought occurs to me.
"Hm." He hums into my hair.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." He shifts so that our eyes are locking each other softly.
"What was it?" I whisper, blushing. "What made you realize that you like me?"
Faldo turns to me and smiles with a mesmerizing warmth. "It's a quite silly story."
"I don't mind." I blush even more.
"You just want to hear a pretty story that will boost your ego." He chuckles.
"Is that so wrong?" I play along.
"All right, then." He giggles and then clears his throat loudly as to emphasize the beginning.
"Remember that day when Al brought his granddad's camera to the Soulmate meeting?“
"How can I not? He was shoving it in our faces non-stop." I recall bitterly.
"Yeah, well, when we got back to the dorm that day, Al asked me to develop the photos. Since he doesn't know how."
"Of course." I roll my eyes.
Typical Al. Plays with toys that he can't even figure out so he drops them to someone else to worry about.
Heavens, what will we do without that lazy bug?
"I have had a particularly boring day and thought-well, why not." Faldo continues, shrugging. "So I went back to the RoR and set everything up perfectly. It was fun. The photos were hilarious, too. And I was having a blast. Then... I found a photo of you."
I perk up as I notice his shy smile.
"You and I... we were usually sneering at each other. And that was the expression I was used to seeing on you. But on that one photograph... You looked... You were smiling and you had this look on your face... The kind of expression that says-you're such an idiot, but I still love you. I suspect it was directed at either Al or Scorp. It was a genuine look, full of affection. And I found myself staring at that smile for the longest time. I suddenly wanted that you look at me that way."
I smile at him and Faldo gently brushes a bouncy lock away from my face.
"At first, as I interpreted the look as a friendly one, I thought I longed to finally become your friend and stop being in this crazy 'hate' relationship with you." He dons the air quotes and I giggle.
Who were we kidding? It was never really hate.
"I took the photograph and put it in an old poetry notebook of mine. A couple of days ago, though, I found it to look for some good lines and... I stumbled upon the photo again. And, as I stared at your friendly smile again, I realized... I already had it. You were my friend. Finally. And, yes, it was a nice look. But, suddenly, I just... I knew... It wasn't enough anymore. I wanted more."
I smile as I notice that Faldo is blushing himself. I'm not surprised to realize that it makes him even more adorable.
"I wanted you look at me the way you looked at Louis that one time in the Great Hall. I wanted to have that. I wanted you to see me. And I... I just... I needed time to process it. When you kissed me, though... I realized I was ready for a long time now. I was ready for you."
I glance up at him shyly. "That's not a silly story, at all. It's... kind of amazingly beautiful."
"So you think I have a chance as a storyteller, then?" He smirks at me.
"I think you can be whatever you want to be." I kiss him lightly on the lips.
He smiles and takes my hand and I sink into his embrace again, feeling completely lost and safe at the same time.
And no matter what I said earlier, I hope I never get used to this.
* * *
I sneak into my dorm around midnight, trying to be as quiet as I can possibly manage. Unfortunately, instead using my brain and casting a Muffliato, I rely on my spy abilities. Which are poor. And that's being generous about it.
I stumble into someone's night stand, probably Merilyn's and a loud noise breaks the silence. I stay stiff for a moment, waiting for something disastrous to happen. As luck would have it, Marilyn's indeed the one to wake up.
"What the... Dursley, what do you think you're doing?! I need my sleep!"
I actually manage to spit out the last words I wanted to ever say into her face. "Sorry."
"Control your bladder, for Merlin's sake!" She rolls over and covers her head with her sheets.
I breath out and go to my bed. But someone else manages to hear me along the way.
"Dora?" Lee blinks at me.
"Where have you been? It's really late. Or should I say..." She looks at the muggle watch Al got her for her last birthday, that was resting peacefully on her night stand. "It's early."
This time around, I remember to cast the damn Muffliato.
"Be quiet, Lee. Marilyn has ears on her arse, too." I say, even though she can't really hear us anymore.
"She does? When did those grow out?"
I roll my eyes. "I was joking!"
"Oh. But wouldn't it be cool if..."
"No, Lee. It wouldn't." I shake my head.
She pouts. Heavens!
"So, where have you been, then?"
"Go back to sleep, Lee." I order her.
"Oh, you're avoiding the answer... This can only mean something juicy... Wait, don't tell me you're back with Louis?!" The terror in her eyes shows clearly.
"I remember a time when you were very pro-Louis."
"I was blinded by my desire to plan a wedding." She admits shamefully. "I know, it should have never happened. I deeply regret it."
"It's not Louis." I slip.
"So there is someone?" Charlie's eyes glitter. "Who is he? Tell me!"
"Shut up, Lee!"
"Come on! I told you about kissing Dorian. Return the favor."
"I really wish you didn't tell me that, though." I shudder.
"Why? Even Rose agrees we're a great couple!"
"Lee, you kissed once. You were not a couple." I sigh.
"I beg to differ. It was a beautiful relationship."
Lee jumps into my bed and smiles at me in a freakish way. "Tell me, Dora."
"Fine." I finally give up. "But if you say anything to anyone..."
"I won't! Promise!" She smiles, acting like a perfect angel.
Why don't I have her abilities? They'd certainly come in handy.
I take a deep breath, calming my nerves. "It's... Faldo."
Lee stares at me blankly.
Then, she bursts into a loud laughter. "Oh, Dora, come on! Come up with a better lie, at least."
I blink. Charlie gazes back at me and, finally, realization hits her. Hard.
"Oh my Merlin!" She shouts and falls on the floor.
I look down at her from the bed. "You ok?"
She suddenly stands up, almost hitting me in the head.
"Oh my Merlin! I always insisted you two would tolerate each other. But not like this!"
"Merlin, this is like if Dumbledore and Grindelwald would get together after everything-"
"Lee!" I shriek.
She looks at me, confused.
"I never hated Faldo, ok?"
I shake my head.
"It was just sexual tension, all along, wasn't it? How didn't I see that?" She wonders out loud.
I roll my eyes.
"Oh, wait until Roxy hears about this!" She exclaims happily.
Roxy and Owen.
Oh, Heavens. I forgot about them. And Lee. I can't tell her. Roxy would kill me. She'd start planning their wedding again. Which brings me to... Oh, why did I tell her about Faldo, again?
"I'll tell her. And, Lee..."
"No Dursley-Faldo wedding planning, ok?"
"No buts. I'm serious!"
She crosses her arms. "You're no fun. I'll have to give my made of honor spot to Roxy, instead."
When she finds out that Roxy and Owen are together behind her back, she will forget this thought, I'm sure. Not that I want to be the made. Lee would be a bridezilla! I wouldn't be able to handle it. I don't think anyone will be.
"Whatever you want, Charlie."
I lie in my bed and Lee finally does the same.
I look up and smile, Faldo's words come back to me in a haze.
I stand in front of my dorm and Faldo puts his hand on my cheek gently, brushing my hair slightly. I close my eyes and smile.
"You're beautiful. I'm sorry I never told you that before."
I blush furiously as I open my eyes. His deep blue ones are piercing me.
"It's ok. I get that you're kind of slow." I mock him.
He laughs. "Promise me you'll never stop teasing me."
"I promise." I kiss him lightly on the lips.
I eye him curiously. "You know what I always wondered?"
"How you came up with the idea to start calling me Blue? I know it's because I mope constantly but..."
I blink, surprised. "No?"
He shakes his head.
"I'll tell you one day." He smirks. "I'm saving that story for the future."
It's funny how, now, it doesn't scare me at all.
I stick my tongue out at him. "You're such a tease."
He laughs again and kisses my forehead gently. I hold his hand tightly, fearing to let go. Fearing that all this... everything... is just a dream.
But the perfect thing is, it's not.
I smile into my pillow, slowly drifting to sleep.
I never felt more at peace.
Roxy waves at me as she looks around the Great Hall. Her wavy hair has reached her shoulders covered in her Quidditch gear. She looks quite pretty. And it seems a few males share my thought, as they gaze at my friend in a not so platonic way.
"Ree?" She frowns.
"You know-Dee, Lee and, why not, Ree." I smile.
Roxy shows that she clearly does not dig the idea, so I drop it. But not without disappointment.
"What is up with you? You seem curiously cheerful."
"I can be cheerful." I protest.
Roxy frowns at me again. I look away nervously.
"Anyway... Where is Charlie?" She decides to ignore me for now, it appears.
"Meeting her destiny." I use Lee's voice to mimic her.
It is not successful. Such a surprise.
"Trelawney." I add and Roxy nods with understanding.
"Good. I need to ask you something."
"You want me to keep your secret about Owen?" I whisper.
She looks at me, amazed. "How did you know?"
"I just do. I mean, every time I say I have a boyfriend, Lee stares at me with wedding eyes and I feel your pain."
"Wait, every time?" Roxy eyes me with interest.
"You just said... Dora, for saint's snitch, cut the crap and just tell me."
That's about when Faldo, Scorpius, Rose and Al walk to us. And Faldo, casually, presses his lips to mine. In front of everyone. More importantly, in front of Roxy. Who's mouth is so wide open, I think she could fit a Quaffle in it.
Ok, that was weird.
I cast a nervous look, first at Faldo, then at Roxy. It hits me that it's just Roxy who looks surprised.
"Oh, yeah, I told the guys. I hope you don't mind."
Sweet Heavens. He just saved me from the pain of telling everyone. And maybe in another similar situation, I would be pissed. But right now, I love him.
... Wait what?
Shut up, brain!
"I don't mind." I smile sweetly at him and he does the same.
"Oh-my-Wood." Roxy says every word with a giant dose of shock.
It's a little bit funny. Ok, it's hilarious. That's what she gets for not telling me about Owen. Hah, such brilliant payback!
"Come on, Roxy." Al rolls his eyes. "Is it really that surprising? I mean, you saw the tension with your own eyes, didn't you? I don't understand why you're so shocked."
He chews a chips with an amazing amount of nonchalance.
"Oh my Wood." Roxy repeats, now slightly angry.
"Yeah, I mean, it was obvious." Scopius agrees.
"Oh, shut up. As if you see anything beyond Rose, anyway." Faldo jabs him with delight.
Scorp doesn't seem happy. Faldo's right, though. As always. Which, of course, has been frustrating in the past. But now, it just amuses me highly.
Rose chuckles and kisses Scorpius. He sighs and decides that maybe, just maybe, his friend does have some point.
Right then, Lee decides to join us, too.
"Hey guys, what's brewing?" She takes her place next to Al.
"Apparently, Faldo and Dora are together now." Roxy shares bitterly.
"I know that." Lee casually waves it off. " Something else?"
Roxy looks at me angry. "You told everyone except me?"
"Come on, Roxy, having secrets is so last year." Charlie rolls her eyes.
"Fine then!" She nods, her hands on her hips. "Owen and I are in love."
Lee turns to her with a freakish smile. Roxy gulps. She looks at me as to say-see what you made me do. I shrug, suppressing a laugh.
I sit next to Faldo and he reaches for my hand. I look up at him. It's like he's telling me-everything's fine. We can do this. I nod and rest my head on his shoulder. I smile to myself as I listen to Charlie and her deep creed of her future career as a dragon breeder.
Life is kind of strangely perfect at the moment.
At least until Al invites us to attend his first of many going away parties. That jerk.
Oh, how I'll miss him.
* * *
All in all, it doesn't even surprise me anymore that, again, I find myself at a-party.
You know my legendary love for these social events? Well, now combine that with a melancholic afternoon and you'll get a wreck. Aka, me.
But, somehow, I still manage to laugh. I guess it has a lot to do with the person beside me.
"Spot Roxy and Lee back there." I show my friends to Faldo. "How much do you wanna bet that in the next two minutes one of them is going to yell at the other?"
"Oh, poor naive Blue." Faldo shakes his head.
"Why?" I frown.
"You're too optimistic for giving them two whole minutes."
Just as he says that, Roxy screams at Charlie that she can shove her ridiculous plans-maybe it's better I don't finish that sentence.
Faldo shrugs in a smug way.
"You really are good."
"I remember a time when that annoyed the hell out of you."
"Now you're being the naive one, mister."
"Yes?" He smiles.
"Who says it doesn't annoy me anymore?"
Faldo fakes an insulted expression and puts his palm over his chest. "I'm deeply offended, Blue."
"Shut up." I push him lightly.
Louis suddenly appears next to us, carrying a cup of some dark liquid. He instantly freezes and I realize that he didn't quite see us when he chose this path to wherever he's headed. It also dawns on me that this situation could possibly get a little awkward.
"Hey." Faldo breaks the silence.
"Hi, guys. Having fun?" Louis smiles at us, looking a bit torn.
Maybe it's because I'm practically sitting in Faldo's lap with my arms tightly around his neck. I suddenly become very self conscious and drop them next to my body.
"Yup!" I squeal too cheerfully.
Roxy was right. I just can't do cheerful.
Faldo looks at me obviously trying to suppress a laugh.
"Oh, ok then."
"I'm sorry, this is ridiculous." Faldo stands and picks me up. "Blue, I know you want to be friends with Louis. So, if the only reason for your squeaky voice is me, please just, stop."
"My voice is not squeaky." I say in a perfectly squeaky voice and then curse. "Damn it."
"So you're fine with us still hanging out?" Louis asks unsure.
Faldo nods with a bright smile.
"Thanks. 'Cause, Dora is a really cool girl."
Faldo looks me in the eyes so profoundly it's impossible not to smile at that.
I guess I should give credit to Faldo for being mature enough to let me live my life the way I want it.
Heavens, how is it I never realized before just how right he is for me?
"Anyway, I wanted to thank you, Dora." Louis jumps in, not aware that he ruined a perfectly sweet moment here.
But I'm totally not angry.
"For what?" I'm curious.
"For talking to James. Did you know that he'll come tonight?"
My heart jumps with joy. "That's great!"
"And all thanks to you."
"Louis!" Lucy yells from the bar. "Come taste my new masterpiece! I gotta say, if this doesn't make me famous..."
"Does that girl ever move from there?" I wonder.
"I think she set up a bar at her dorm, too." Faldo joins in. "That's the rumor, anyway."
"No, it's true." Louis confirms nodding. "Quite impressive use of magic there, too."
"Lucy, you do realize you're already a bit famous, don't you?" Louis smiles.
"Being a Weasley, you mean? Crappity crap, I really didn't." She rolls her eyes. "Get your arse over here. No one else is currently willing to be my experimental bunny."
"I wonder why." Louis sighs. "You heard the lady. Duty calls."
"So, don't be a stranger." I grin at him as he turns to leave.
"I won't." He smiles back.
With that he walks over to his crazy cousin.
And at this point, my attention wanders to the painfully lonely looking Alice in the other corner.
I turn to Faldo.
"Would you wind if I..." I mimic toward my friend.
"Not at all. I should talk to Al, anyway."
"I haven't officially asked him if I could date you." Faldo winks.
"You're going all old school romance on me here." I giggle.
"Why yes, my lady. And when you finish your intellectual chat with your friend I would like to take you on a very private tour."
I squint. "Was that some kind of an innuendo?"
Faldo stares at me for a second. "Don't go there when we're in public."
And he basically runs away from me. I laugh and finally go to join Alice.
I slowly walk to her, feeling as if I'm dying along the way.
"I'm not sad." She says immediately, not looking away from the three pigs (Of course Faldo would directly walk over to Al and Scorp.).
I open my mouth to contradict her ('Cause seriously? I don't want to be mean, but she looks kind of awful.), but she goes first. "I'm not mourning. If that's what you're wondering."
"I just came over to say hi."
Alice raises an eyebrow.
"Ok, I lie."
"So... are you ok?" I hesitate.
I sit next to her carefully. I want to be supportive and just shut the hell up, since I know that's what she needs right now. But my curiosity doesn't let me go.
"I'm fine, Dora."
"You're in love with him, aren't you?"
Alice just smiles while gazing at Al softly. I sigh.
This is bad.
Back when she was in the hospital wing and I suspected something, I thought it's great. But now, after seeing how much it affects her... I'm not sure anymore.
Suddenly and thankfully, an idea strikes me which makes me so ridiculously happy that I just have to ask.
"You're going to marry him, aren't you?!" I squeal. "He's your future husband and you'll eventually be happy and-"
Alice turns to me, shaking her head. "It's not him."
"No?" My heart drops immediately.
I can almost feel it shattering.
And now I feel terrible for even bringing up such an idea. It'll just make her feel worse. I'm such a talent, honestly.
"No." Alice takes a shaky breath. "Al will get married while working in Spain. He'll be very happy."
Her last words are just slightly over a whisper.
I rub her back tenderly, not knowing exactly how to help.
"But we'll have... a small thing before he leaves. I guess that's what will inspire him to work on the potion." She shrugs.
I then tackle her, screaming. Everyone in the Room stares at me for a moment.
"What?" I roll my eyes.
Haven't they seen an excited teenager before? Heavens. From the corner of my eye, I catch Faldo smiling at me affectionately.
Alice laughs. "I thought it would make you happy."
"Are you joking?! This is great news..."
Then I remember about Al marrying someone else again and feel even more depressed.
Alice nods her head.
"Why doesn't he just come back for you? I mean, why won't he? Heavens, this is confusing." I shake my head.
Alice laughs again.
But then she glances over to Al and sighs. "Not all romances are destined to have a happy ending."
"So... you won't ask him to stay for you, either?"
"I would never do that." She admits. "If he stays he will never do all those amazing things I saw in his future."
"I will have him for a moment, Dora. But some stories don't have a happy ending. I already told you." Alice whispers.
I look at her, my heart shattering.
"Yes, but I didn't know one of those stories was yours. You could still go with him-"
"No. Dora, please." She smiles weakly. "It's not meant to be. I know, stupid, using those lines. But truly, it just isn't. Al needs to stay focused. And he would never have his peace with me."
I'm not truly convinced by this, to be honest.
She looks at me with a smile. "That doesn't mean we won't be great, in our own way, though. Just remember Romeo and Juliet."
"Oh, the perfect example." I snort. "But, wait, you read that? How even-"
"I saw you carrying that book once. I guess you had a black phase or something. I really liked you, even when we weren't close. So I thought, it must be a good book. I later found out it was muggle literature. But I found a way to get it."
"Al again?" I suggest.
Alice nods her head.
Obviously. I gave one copy to Al since he so insisted on having it, too. It was muggle, therefor, it was interesting. That's his logic, anyway. But I assume he never really read it. He just does stuff like that. Something, or someone, has to be very special to keep his attention.
I smile at Alice. If she inspires Al to make a cure, she will be someone special. Which means that, no matter what happens, she always will be.
I squeeze her hand and Alice looks at me with a sad smile.
"One day, you'll find someone. I mean, you already Saw him, right?"
"Right." She nods shortly.
"I'm not telling you anything. You know too much, already." She shakes her head.
But I know she's right. I hug her and Alice breaths into my neck shakily.
When I let her go, I look at the trio again. Well, ok, I stare at Faldo, to be exact. He catches my eye and smiles at me. I blush but still manage to smile back. Although, I fear it came out rather awkwardly.
"You make such a beautiful couple." Alice says quietly.
"Yeah." I agree, absent-minded.
Then I realize what I just said.
"What?!" I panic.
Alice giggles. "It amuses me that you still act surprised when you realize I know things."
I frown. "It's not funny, Alice."
She chuckles. I smile, too, in spite of myself.
"So you know." I state nervously.
Then I remember something else, too. "Wait. Is he-"
"I'm not telling you!" Alice jumps up and goes to join Lily by the fountain.
Al has a weird love for fountains, too. Better don't ask him about it. He'll go into an elaborate discussion and leave you wanting to kill yourself.
I laugh, letting Alice go.
I guess I'll just never learn not to meddle.
I then get up and join Al, Scorp and Faldo in their discussion of something random. Ok, ok, I totally went there just to be close to Faldo. So sue me.
Somewhere along the way, Faldo puts his hand around my waist. And I lean into him. And I don't care that Scorp gives us a slightly disgusted look. I know he feels that's his duty as my alternative brother. Or something twisted like that that only his mind can produce. And I don't care that everyone else is just too involved with themselves to notice.
I don't fucking care.
'Cause the only thing that matters is... Faldo kissed me back. And as far as I can see (Thanks for nothing, Alice.), he always will.
A/N: I know, I know. I'm terrible. I kept you waiting for absurdly long. But I didn't give up on this story. Again, life got in the way of finishing earlier (In both good and not so good ways.). But, now I'm back! And I hope you'll enjoy what little is left of this story (I think it will be just one more chapter after this one.). And, oh man, it looks like it'll be super fluffy, lol. I hope you don't mind much. If there are any mistakes, feel free to tell me. :)