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Chapter 18: And the Morning After.
I woke up with a startled yelp the next morning as something very loud rumbled in my ear. It took me about three seconds to figure out that it was Al, draped around me and snoring so obnoxiously I’m pretty sure my tympanic membrane just shriveled up and died out of protest. Then it took another three to realize that we were both completely naked.
I blinked, willing myself not to scream and/or cry and/or run away as last night’s events rushed back to me in a haze of blurry minutes and dizzying kisses.
I told Al Potter that I loved him! What the bleeding hell is wrong with me? Why would I ever do that, especially after he expressively told me he was going to make me fall for him – he practically turned the entire thing into a game! And what had I done? I’d laughed in his face and told him it was impossible.
Way off the mark with that one, I’d say.
Telling someone you love them is just another way to set yourself up for heartbreak. You never expose yourself like that. I never expose myself like that. It makes me vulnerable in the most intimate of ways and I don’t really do vulnerability. Or emotions. Generally my feelings are covered up by snarky comments, sarcasm and overall bitchiness. And that works for me.
I jumped as another particularly deafening snore started up in my ear, and threw back my elbow into his gut. The snore was cut off by a low ‘oof’ of pain.
I nearly groaned as my actions caught up to me – great. I’d woken the sod up. There go my plans of escaping before he comes back to the world. I can’t deal with this right now. I need to get away. This is all too much. I told him I loved him!
Fucking hell, I’m panicking.
The last time I panicked, I believe I was thirteen and Scorpius had been knocked very roughly off of his broom during practice. For a little while, things were sort of precarious and I’d panicked because I thought the idiot was going to die and I suppose I do love him after all.
Adele Malfoy (Potter) never panics. She goes through life with cool acceptance and general badassness in her every move.
Yet here I am.
“Fuck, what time is it?” Al groaned, moving his face downwards so he could bury it into the hair laying on my shoulder.
“I dunno,” I said in a voice completely unlike mine. “Probably late. I should go shower. Then we can go home. Showering sounds nice. I do like to shower.”
‘I do like to shower’? Someone just Avade me now, will you? Apparently I babble when I panic. This keeps getting better and better, I’d say. Maybe next I’ll burst into tears. How exciting.
Al breathed out roughly against my skin, sending delightful little shivers down my spine that didn’t do anything to help my situation.
“You’re panicking because we had sex,” he said.
I blinked. Why the hell would I panic over sex? That was bound to happen eventually – the tension was practically palpable. Yes, even I can admit it. What I didn’t expect, however, was the whole…L-word predicament.
“No,” I responded. “I’m fine. I’m gonna go shower.”
I wriggled out of his grasp and pulled the bedsheets around me, leaving him with my enormous duvet.
“You’re not going anywhere,” he said in a dark voice, putting his hand on my arm. “Let’s talk about this.”
“Nothing to talk about!” I responded in a high voice, skittering off the bed and turning to face him. His green eyes were stormy and a slight frown was forming over his mouth. “I’m fine! I’m just going to shower and then you can shower and we can eat breakfast and go home! Sounds like a plan!”
Maybe next I’ll become a nursery teacher and/or air hostess! I don’t think I’ve ever used so many exclamation points in my life! This is actually sickening! I’m just going to crawl away and attempt to find the remaining shreds of my dignity!
Fucking hell, I’m going mental.
He blinked, and suddenly the openness of his expression completely slipped off. “Fine,” he said. I didn’t bother trying to say something to fix it – I turned around and practically sprinted into my bathroom, closing the door behind me with an audible click. The tears were already forming in my eyes as I cranked the water to the hottest setting, just now realizing how sore I was. I lifted my face up to the spray until I couldn’t tell the difference between the water from the shower and the water from my own eyes.
No, Al, I’m not upset because we had sex.
I’m upset because I told you I loved you.
And you didn’t say anything back.
Silence. He wasn’t talking to me. I sat across from him at the kitchen table and poked nervously at my pancakes as I continued to shoot him surreptitious glances. He was eating steadily, looking resolutely into his plate and only moving his glance when he had to take a sip of milk. It was like he was completely unaffected by everything. Like he didn’t even care. Like he’d achieved what he’d meant to achieve and that was that. Forgotten. Checked off on his list of things to do, so he could move onto the next one.
Well, I’m an idiot. I’d fallen for it all, hadn’t I?
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
My gaze wandered around the expansive room at my childhood home. I couldn’t bring myself to recount all the great memories of this breakfast table – now all I’d able to remember was this cold silence and the feeling of panic in my gut and ice cracking into my chest.
My head snapped up. Al was looking at me, his gaze unwavering. His eyes, normally so expressive, were completely shut off. My heart gave another nervous lurch.
“Yeah,” I rasped out. He nodded once and stood up. His steps were measured as he walked towards me, and I was insanely jealous of his composure. Here I was, a quivering mess, and he was about as nonchalant as can be.
Then again, it’s not like meant anything to him. How can I expect him to care? He never did, did he?
He stopped in front of me and held out a hand. My pulse was thundering in my ears as I took it, a questioning expression on my face. Before I could fully look up, there was a pulling in my gut and a loud crack, and as the sensation of being pulled through a tube wore off, I landed in the middle of his bedroom. He dropped his hand.
Another fissure through the chest area. What great fun this is.
He was looking at me with those piercing eyes, and I couldn’t even stand it. I looked everywhere except for that burning gaze, little bubbles of surprise blossoming every now and then as I realized how completely I’d added myself into his life. There was a jumper lying innocently on one of his chairs. One of my paintings was hung up on the Wall of Stuff, along with a couple of my personal photographs. A book on the bedside table. An earring, forgotten on the table. The green wall with silver splatters.
And suddenly, I was irritated. Here he was, aloof and uncaring, and then there was me…caring.
Well, fuck that. This isn’t my fault. All I did was fall in L-word. It’s his fault he’s a manipulative, self-serving asshole who did all of this purely for his sick pleasure and entertainment.
My eyes snapped right onto his, bright with defiance. He sneered. I raised my chin.
“Well,” he said in a simmering voice, “you seem to be done acting all wounded.”
“I’d say you seem to be done acting like a total prick, but that’s never going to change, is it?” I shot back. Ah, sarcasm. How I’ve missed your comforting shield. Welcome back to my conversations with Al.
“What’s your problem?” He hissed.
“I don’t know what you’re referring to.”
“I know it’s easy for you to play dumb, but spare me.”
“My problem,” I said in a loud voice, “is that you’re a piece of shit.”
“No, your problem is that you can’t ever seem to do anything right,” he snapped. “You’re suck a fuck-up, Adele. Get your head out of your arse –”
“Oh, that’s rich!” I nearly screamed, “coming from someone such as yourself, you arrogant, selfish little fucker.”
“Ah,” he said, his lip curling into a smirk as he raised an eyebrow at me, “that’s funny. I told you I’d get you to fall in love with me.”
I very nearly hit him right then and there. My hands shook as I balled them into fists.
“Fuck you,” I said in a low voice.
“Oh. Up for round two? Hold on, let me go get a paper bag for your head, maybe then I’ll be able to actually stand it,” he hissed, his eyes finally sparking with something other than coldness.
My lip curled into a sneer. “Cute. You seemed to like it just fine last night, something that I can’t say I agree with. Hope the morning after scene tipped you off.”
“Sorry, can’t hear you over that big fat ‘I LOVE YOU’ you threw at me,” he shot back, looking entirely too smug for his own good.
“I don’t,” I hissed.
“There’s a reason you said it.”
“Oh, please,” I said, my brain desperately grappling for an upper hand. “You can’t really be that thick. I used you, Potter. A marriage can’t be considered a marriage until it’s consummated. I just wanted to save my dad, and you were there to help me do it.”
I wanted to shove those words right back into my mouth as soon as I said them. That’s a new low, even for me.
“Right, I forgot you were a spineless coward who couldn’t seem to look past her own personal gain,” he said right away, not missing a beat in our dangerous game. “You lucked out there, Malfoy. Anyone else would have chucked you as soon as they’d figured out how much of a heartless bitch you are, regardless of the repercussions to your father.”
“Bit bitter there, are you Potter?” I asked nastily.
“No, just a good person, something that can’t ever be said by you.”
“Really? Then why’d you do it, Al? Fancied a shag?”
“Sure,” he shot back, looking pissed beyond reason. “You were easy. I regretted it right away, you know – even saving your dad wasn’t worth the trouble of having to put up with you.”
“Yeah, well, you weren’t exactly a fucking riot either,” I said, stung.
“You still fell in love with me, didn’t you?” he asked softly, walking towards me with a painful smirk on his face. “Silly Adele. I told you it was all a game. You might have used me, but I fucked you over. You lost.”
I was shaking.
So, here we are: me insisting that I’ve used Al to save my dad. He’s insisting that he’s been using me all along as a game.
Great relationship we have here.
“I never loved you,” I said in a quiet voice, “Who won now, Potter?”
“If you think you did, you’re wrong. There’s a reason I never said it,” his voice was cutting, “you’re the most unlovable rock I’ll ever meet. Good luck ever finding a bloke who can put up with your shit.”
“I’m leaving,” I said. My arguments were running out. I was losing. He was right. I needed to get out of here.
“Please, by all means!” He nearly shouted. “You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” He conjured up a suitcase and shoved it at me as he passed, his movements jerky as he walked towards the door.
“I hate you!” I yelled at his back, “I never wanted you in my life!”
“Then leave. Get out of mine,” he hissed. The door slammed shut behind him.
He never loved me. This was all a game to him. Well I’m removing myself before he can win again. I don’t want to play anymore. With a furious sob, I dumped the suitcase on my bed and strode towards the closet, ripping clothes off of hangers and disrupting the neat rows on the shelves. Everything was dumped in a jumbled mess. I didn’t care. I needed to get out.
My eyes were blurry with tears when I finally realized that –oh, hello! – I’m a freaking witch, and I had this convenient little contraption called a wand that could make magic. With a wave, everything I owned swooped in one graceful arc towards the suitcase. I zipped it as fast as I could and yanked it off our – his – bed.
The door swung open again and banged off the wall. I turned around just in time to see Al’s furious expression as he strode towards me. He finally stopped about an inch in front of my face. I blinked.
“We can’t divorce,” he finally said roughly.
“Fine,” I responded.
“I don’t want to see you again.”
“Fuck you, I ruined my life for your dad,” he finally snarled at me, “get that stick out of your arse, Malfoy. Life advice. You’ll need to remove it in order to get somewhere.”
“Maybe I will, once you stop acting like you’re so much better than everyone else,” I responded coldly. My chest ached. I wanted to curl up and cry for days.
“Pot calling the kettle black, don’t you think?” he asked sardonically. I seethed, and he gave me another heart-shattering smirk as he turned around to leave again. I licked my lips. I needed to say something.
“Thanks for playing, Potter,” I called after him in a biting voice. His knuckles whitened on the door. That was the last thing I saw before I apparated myself out. And as I landed in the middle of Diagon Alley, with a suitcase full of my belongings and a broken heart and a trail of shattered memories, I couldn’t help but think that I’d just walked out on the best thing that had ever happened to me, however one-sided the entire thing might have been.
And, somehow, that hurt the most.
what a mess. sorry about the length and suckishness in general guys, i literally banged this out in twenty minutes while listening to Princess of China by Coldplay on repeat. that song fits this entire chapter (and story, i suppose) so well.
"Once upon a time we fell apart, you're holding in your hands the two halves of my heart." & "Once upon a time, we're burning bright. But all we ever seem to do is fight."
LIKE IT'S SO AMAZING I CAN BARELY EVEN STAND IT.
anyway, i'm off to england for the next two weeks! once i come back i promise i will give you a longer chapter. don't hate me too much. well, you're allowed to hate me. i just killed Al&Adele. lol. your reactions are sure to be priceless. don't hold back on the reviews. just keep em 12+ and all.
BTW THE NEW BANNER?! isn't it a complete drool-fest? i swear i fell harder in love with logan lerman just looking at that gorgeous face on the banner. gah.
TOODLES MATES. DON'T HATE. APPRECIATE. RECYCLE AND GO GREEN.