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Chapter 25: Twenty.five – The Unwanted Kiss
“What’s your favorite season?” The question came from nowhere; Rose and I had been sitting in silence on the grounds. It was early spring, but it was unusually warm that day so we decided to walk outside and enjoy the weather.
“Spring,” I said without a second thought.
“Why?” She asked, turning her head to look at me. I have to admit that I enjoyed her eyes very much; they were chocolate brown and she had a soft gaze, but you could tell that she was very intelligent just by seeing how she looked out at the world around her.
“Because,” I hesitated, “It’s not nearly as bloody hot as summer-“
She laughed at this, but I continued, “-And everything is coming alive again after winter.”
“So you like flowers, then?”
I smirked at her, but nodded, “Yes, I like flowers, and I especially like roses.”
“Ha ha ha,” she laughed drily, “I see what you did there.”
“So sue me for being clever,” I said, before becoming distracted by someone approaching us. Rose followed my gaze, and when we realized who it was Rose tightened her grip on my hand slightly.
“What does she want?” Rose sounded angry when it became obvious that Sarah Nott was directly approaching us, as if she were on a mission.
I looked back to Rose and shrugged innocently, “I haven’t got the slightest idea.”
“So it’s true, then?” Sarah sounded accusatory when she reached us, “You two are together now?”
I cleared my throat before Rose could say anything and said, “Yes. Is that all you wanted to know?”
It took Sarah a few moments to think of a response to my question, which was just long enough for me to become impatient, “So Luke wasn’t cheating on me?”
For a brunette Ravenclaw, Sarah sounded an awful lot like a dumb blonde. I answered slowly with the hope that she would understand what I was saying and then leave us alone, “No, he wasn’t. The bloke took veritaserum and told me himself that he never cheated on you. Now if you’ll excuse us, we were in the middle of a conversation.”
“Oh,” Sarah breathed, my words seeming to sink in after a moment. Without another word, she turned on her heel and hurried back up to the castle. When I turned my head to look at Rose again, I was surprised to see her giving me a strange look.
It took her a minute to decide what to say, “Why did you do that?”
“Why did you tell her about the veritaserum?”
“Because she wanted to know if she had been cheated on,” I said, as if this answer should be sufficient.
She let go of my hand and put her palm to her forehead, “You didn’t have to tell her that Luke used veritaserum.”
“I seriously doubt it makes a difference.”
Rose took her palm off her forehead, “Yes it does! You realize that now she’s going to go and try to get back together with Luke?”
“What does it matter? We both know that he fancies Whitby now, it’s not like it will make a difference.”
“Scorpius,” Rose said slowly, shaking her head, “You don’t know Sarah Nott very well, do you?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“She told me to stay away from Luke before you told her brother he was cheating on her with me. You realize that if she finds out that there’s something between Luke and Lauren that she’ll probably do something mental, right?”
Truthfully, I didn’t care that much about what happened between Nott, Albine, and Whitby, but I did care that Rose was becoming upset over it. That and I guess that Albine had done me a huge favor by taking the veritaserum. Although that didn’t mean I owed him anything... I did save his life after he had been attacked by the bloody Whomping Willow. Looking from the tree in question and back to Rose, who looked worried, I said, “Well, I don’t know why you’re bothering to be angry with me over it; it’s not like I can take back what I said. If it matters that much to you then you should probably go warn him.”
Rose hesitated for a moment before leaning in to kiss me. When she pulled away she said, “You’re probably right,” and then she rose to her feet and headed toward the castle without me.
Nearly a week had passed since I had told Lauren I fancied her and she still hadn’t given me an answer. I was seriously beginning to think that I had made a mistake by telling her, but Rose kept insisting that Lauren just needed time. Al, on the other hand, tried not to bring her up. Although he kept asking me if she had talked to me about it until I finally told him that I would find him first once she did. Somehow, Lysander remained unaware that there was anything going on, which I was okay with. The last thing I needed was for him to think that I had backstabbed him or something, although it was really just Al that was worried about this.
As we were leaving the library, Lorcan asked me what I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon doing. I shrugged in reply, “I dunno; maybe go up to the common room to study some more?”
He groaned, “But we just spent three hours in the library. Can’t we go play some Quidditch or something?”
“No, the Gryffindor Quidditch team is using the pitch to practice,” I said, remembering how Al had told us this before we had gone to the library.
“Well can’t we at least go see if they’re done practicing? I really don’t want to be sitting down again just yet.”
I raised a brow at him, “Aren’t you the one that’s always saying you need to study?”
Lorcan narrowed his eyes at me for a moment, “Usually, and aren’t you the one that always agrees to go and knock a bludger around with Al?”
“Yes, but as far as I know you’re not Al.”
“What do you mean ‘as far as I know’?”
I gave him a look, beginning to think that Al didn’t tell Lorcan he had a tendency to sneak around the castle at night, or that he knew where the kitchens were and visited them often, “I mean that there’s such thing as Polyjuice potion, Lorcan.”
He snorted, “I’d like to see Al brew up some Polyjuice potion sometime. That’d be interesting.”
At that moment we turned another corner, although I wasn’t entirely sure where we were going. We were just walking around on the third floor corridor as we were talking. Although, when we turned the corner I finally decided that we may as well go and see if the Gryffindor team was done practicing, “All right, Lorcan, let’s go down to the pitch.”
When we reached the ground floor I spotted Lauren across the entrance hall, talking to another Hufflepuff girl near the entrance to the Great Hall. I felt my face start to flush at the sight of her, and quickened my pace with the hope that Lorcan wouldn’t spot her and draw her attention to us. However, when I saw that Sarah had just come in the entrance hall from outside and that she had spotted me, I froze in mid-step.
Lorcan was halfway through asking me why I stopped when Sarah called my name from across the hall. Looking over to Lauren, I saw that she had stopped talking to look over at me questioningly. Before I could think to walk over to her, or to tell Sarah to go away, or turn to run up the stairs, Sarah was enclosing the last few feet between us. Then she told me how she had learned that Rose and Scorpius were together, and that she had suspected that maybe I hadn’t been cheating on her with Rose so she went to ask Scorpius, who confirmed it by telling her that I had taken veritaserum when I told him there was nothing going on between Rose and myself. And then she apologized for slapping me and allowing her brother to attempt to hex me, and then she had the audacity to force a kiss on me even though I was looking at her like she was a poisonous frog that would kill me if it came into contact with my skin.
It was just before I shoved her away from myself that I heard Lauren drop her books to the floor, and after I had pushed Sarah away I looked around to see the girl that she had been talking to chasing after her without thinking to pick up her things. “What’s wrong?” Sarah asked, looking confused and offended.
I looked back at her for a moment before deciding to say it, “I don’t like you, and I think you’re bleeding mental.”
She seemed to be in shock when I walked over to pick up Lauren’s things, gathering them in my arms. The last thing I picked up off the floor was a small notebook, although it looked more like a journal. I stared at it for a moment before turning to head in the direction that Lauren and the other Hufflepuff had walked off in, realizing that Lorcan was no longer in the entrance hall when I did. He must have cleared out sometime after Sarah had reached me, or he must have followed Lauren, too, if he had seen her become upset.
It wasn’t until I started to jog through the corridors that I started to become panicked. It felt like my heart was going to burst if I didn’t find her and didn’t get the chance to explain that it didn’t mean anything, that Sarah had caught me completely off-guard.
Then I heard a girl shout my name and I whipped around to see Rose following me, “Thank Merlin I found you! Your crazy ex found out about the veritaserum – I had to warn you,” as she approached and took in the expression on my face she seemed to frown, “What happened?”
I realized that I was shaking somewhat and stepped back a few paces so that I could lean against the wall of the corridor, “Sarah found me first and told me everything, and then she forced a kiss on me in front of Lauren.”
Rose’s eyes widened for a moment, and then she asked, “Where’s Lauren now?”
“Going to her common room, I guess,” I said, trying to calm myself down.
“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Rose said, starting to walk off. When she realized I wasn’t following, however, she turned back around, “Are you coming?”
Because my efforts to calm down were failing miserably, I had found my way down to the floor and had closed my eyes. I was actually pretty embarrassed that I was so close to having a meltdown in front of Rose, but I was in a state of panic. I felt slightly nauseated and my palms were sweaty on top of the fact that I was slightly shaky. I thought that if I could just sit down and remember to breathe properly that I would be fine.
“Come on,” Rose had made her way back over to me, “I know what will calm you down.”
Opening my eyes, I looked up at her, “What would that be?”
“Delta knows how to make an excellent calming tea, if you’re interested,” she said, though the way she said it was strange. It was as if she were talking about something other than tea.
I wasn’t interested in tea, but I figured that Delta would probably be able to give me some insight and agreed to go find her with Rose. It actually didn’t take Rose that long to find her, apparently after sharing a dorm for so long Rose had learned where Delta liked to spend her free time. We happened to find her sitting in a corner of the library that I had never bothered to look at, and when she looked up at me she frowned.
“What happened?” Delta asked, beckoning us to sit with her. Whenever I tried to sit across from her she said suddenly, “No Luke, sit beside me.”
I looked at her quizzically before doing as she asked. When I sat down, however, Delta reached over and grabbed for my arm. I pulled away from her, “What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to help you,” she said quietly, looking around to see if anyone had overheard my slight outburst. Hesitantly, I put my arm back on the arm of the chair and let her grab it with her hand. It was weird, but the instant her hand touched my arm I started to calm down, “Now tell me what happened.”
I was about to open my mouth to start explaining, but Rose quickly told Delta what I had told her maybe ten minutes ago. As I listened I expected that I would start to freak out again, but I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel even slightly upset by what had happened in the last thirty minutes or so. When Rose shut up, I started to try and pry Delta’s hand from my arm, but considering that the only thing I felt was slightly drowsy I didn’t put a lot of effort into it. In fact, Delta just looked at me as I realized that I couldn’t remember why I wanted her hand off of my arm.
“What are you doing?” I asked again, trying to sound forceful about it. In reality I just sounded bored.
“Delta,” Rose said, looking at me, “You should probably let up a little; you might put him to sleep.”
Delta frowned, “I think you’re right,” and a moment later I started to feel more alert, but nothing else, “Sorry Luke, I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.”
Again, I repeated, “What are you doing to me?”
“What does it feel like I’m doing?”
If I could have felt anything, I probably would have been annoyed. Instead, it took me a moment to answer, “I can’t feel anything, that’s the point.”
“Exactly,” Delta said, “You remember that I’m an empath, right?”
I nodded, and glanced at Rose to see that she was frowning at me.
“Well... There’s a little bit more to it than knowing how everyone around me is feeling all the time,” She explained, “In fact, I don’t always know how everyone is feeling because I put up this invisible shield most of the time. And right now I’m using it to... Well, I guess you could say that I’m taking away nearly all of your feeling.”
If it weren’t true I probably would have become angry over it, but it was true and I couldn’t feel angry even if I tried, “Well I think I’ve calmed down now, so can you release my arm?”
Delta seemed to shake her head, “Not yet, I’ve got to give you back most of it before I let go or else you might be a zombie for a while.”
She smiled guiltily, “Because I wasn’t paying attention and took too much of your feeling away. If I let go now and let all of your feelings come back at once it might be overwhelming and therefore counterproductive.”
“Okay,” I said, sounding bored.
Rose, who had been silent for a while, looked at me as she asked, “So what do you feel?”
Delta started to interject, “Rose-“
“I just want to know what it feels like,” Rose said innocently enough, or what I thought sounded innocent. It was hard to tell when I couldn’t feel any kind of emotion.
“Like I said, I don’t feel anything.”
“Not even bored?”
I frowned, “Well, maybe bored... and calm, that’s it though.”
Rose’s brows seemed to knit together as she thought for a moment, “What about Lauren? What do you feel about her?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted, realizing that I was beginning to feel upset. Why Delta was allowing me to feel that first didn’t make sense to me, “I know I was panicking earlier and that’s why I’m here, but now I just feel sad I guess.”
I saw Rose look at Delta. Delta seemed to have been distracted, but when she saw the look Rose was giving her she said, “What? I said I was going to have to give him his feeling back.”
As Delta was speaking, I started to regain other feelings like confusion and impatience, and even frustration that this was taking so long. As my thoughts went to Lauren again, though, I realized that I scarcely felt anything when I thought over what had happened earlier, or when I thought over our kiss, or the first time she held my hand. Looking at Delta, I was annoyed (something else that came back), “What in the bloody hell are you doing?”
Delta looked taken aback, but she kept her grip on my arm, “What do you mean?”
“Lauren,” I said, thinking that she should already know the answer, “Where are my feelings for her?”
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I just don’t want you to panic again.”
“Well I’m going to panic if you don’t give them back.”
“Okay, okay,” Delta reasoned, waiting a moment before finally releasing my arm, “Better?”
It took me maybe a millisecond to nod in reply when the realization that I could possibly lose Lauren seemed to make it harder for me to breathe, “Yes and no.”
After a long moment, Rose addressed Delta, “I’ve never seen you do that to anybody.”
Seeming to laugh, Delta joked, “I can do it to you if you want.”
Because I had risen to my feet, Rose did as well as she said, “Sorry Delta, not today.”
A/N: So... I expanded on Delta’s empathic abilities as you can tell. Lol. I started writing the new story that’s mainly about her and Al the other day and as I was writing I started to expand her abilities because I was like “I have to find a way to keep her feelings/emotions from getting too confused with everyone else’s.” Though this is partly because there are like nine people in the first chapter besides Delta, but ten if you include her. It’s actually kind of ridiculous and I’m considering starting the story earlier than the time that I chose just because it’s a little confusing...
But anyway I’ve already finished chapter 26 and whew... it was kind of exhausting lol.
Anyway, please review! I want to know what you think will happen next.
...I really hate Sarah Nott... just had to get that off my chest. So, if she does appear again after this, she’ll be the one in tears. Just saying lol.
Wow, I’m really mean.