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Chapter 9: You and I'll be safe and sound
Quite a short chapter but I just had to get this up!
I thought that getting ready for the party had been a task, but I had clearly underestimated the girls. They had woken me up at 5 in the morning to get ready when we left for Hogsmeade at 8. Even then, Rose was complaining 3 hours was not enough. Stupid girl, interrupting my sleep.
Ari made me sit down, and worked on me, despite my protests. I made her limit everything, and she eventually agreed for me to wear tights and my favourite purple coat on top of a simple dress. I didn’t want to freeze in the cold, thank you very much.
Not everyone had a date. Lily had rejected every offer she got – which shocked everybody (but me) – and Rose planned to spend today with her. Al, probably in his anger and jealousy, had asked some stupid, giggly Hufflepuff in our year, which threw Ari off the slightest. Seriously, those two need an extra pair of eyes.
“There, you’re done. Happy? You hardly let me do anything,” she grumbled, applying some make-up to her own face.
She herself was dressed similarly to me, but she had managed to pull it off effortlessly without any help. I knew Eric, her date, would probably have a fit when he saw her looking like that.
We had all planned to meet outside at the gate, where our dates would be waiting for us. I was definitely nervous; Rose had told me about Hogsmeade and not to worry, but I was not sure what he would do. Would he introduce me to his friends or take me somewhere romantic?
I hoped I wouldn’t run into Emily and James, because guaranteed that would be slightly awkward (for me at least) and I didn’t want to particularly see them be all couple-y.
I had tried to hint at Scorpius to ask Rose out, but the boy is in denial and as oblivious as she is. He ended up getting asked by a fifth year Gryffindor and accepted it. Let’s just say Rose wasn’t the happiest person that day.
When we finally reached the gates, Al, Scorp, Liam and Eric were waiting together.
Al was not so subtly giving Eric dirty looks but his expression became slightly blank, slightly wondrous as we approached them. I gave him a little smack on the head as he gaped at Ari.
I glanced at Liam now, who had gone for wearing jeans and a casual shirt – I must admit that it looked good on him.
“Hi Liam,” I said shyly and returned the favour, complimenting me on looking ‘beautiful’. Pfft, he was just being polite.
“Where are we going first? Anywhere special?” I asked him, finally getting a hold of my red face, and teasing. He winked at me, and led me through the gates, saying goodbye to my friends.
“You like chocolate?” he asked me, as we approached a small village, and it reminded me strongly of what James had said to me before we made our way to that chocolate cellar. Okay, now I had to stop thinking of James.
“Who isn’t?” I joked and he laughed, taking me through a shop door. My mouth dropped as we entered - it looked exactly like the cellar James had taken me too! I couldn’t believe he took me on a secret passageway out of school.
I started smiling, thinking of our little trip, before Liam asked what I was smiling for. “Nothing,” I replied, shaking my head.
I chose a few treats and Liam offered to buy them, but I insisted as it was my first time here. Unfortunately, Ari walked in with Eric, and by the look on her face, she didn’t seem to be enjoying herself very much.
“Oh my Merlin, Lena, you’ve got to help me! I cannot stay for a second longer on this date. Eric is annoying and obnoxious and when he’s not talking about himself, he’s drooling over me. Please rescue me!” she whispered, grabbing my elbow desperately.
“I can’t, I’m having a good time with Liam,” she smirked slightly at this, “And besides, you can manage him, can’t you? It’s only been a little while. It can’t be as bad as you make it out to be.”
“Oh trust me, you can’t have gone on a date worse than this! Heck I’d even go with Potter now just to get rid of this guy. That’s how desperate I am. So I’m begging, please do something.” She gave me puppy dog eyes, knowing I’d give in.
And then just as I was running through ideas in my mind, Al walked through the door with his date. Otherwise, I may have said that it was getting a bit crowded but I suddenly had a genius idea. (I know, I’m brilliant, don’t hesitate to applaud)
“Hey Al, come here for a second?” I beckoned over to him, and Ari shot me a look, “Rose is in a bit of an emergency back at Hogwarts, so can you and Ari go see what’s wrong with her?”
Al looked confused. “No, she isn’t. I just saw Rosie out on the street with-“ he started to say something but Ari cut him off with “Come on, Potter, let’s go!”, whilst grabbing his arm and then dragging him out the door.
Their dates suddenly seemed to realize they weren’t there after a few seconds, and looked around frantically as I giggled like a mad person.
As soon as we exited the shop, I ran, still holding onto him, whilst a laugh threatened to come out of my mouth. Finally, when we were far away from the village and amidst some trees, Al turned to me.
“Do you mind explaining to me what’s going on? Because I know Rose is not really having an emergency, is she?” he asked, his green eyes piercing into mine.
Merlin, I could get lost in those eyes. No, Ari, focus. This is Al Potter; he broke your heart, remember?
But I knew I had to tell him the truth. And I also knew he wouldn’t be too happy.
“Look, it wasn’t Rose, it was me who was in an emergency,” his eyes flashed in concern at this, “I needed help, being saved from…from my date,” I finished off reluctantly.
I thought he would laugh at me or make a sarcastic joke but his eyes darkened in fury as he came one step closer to me and look at me, his jaw tense.
“So you thought you could use me for your personal benefits? Seems a little ironic, don’t you think?” he muttered dangerously, his lip curled up in disgust. A wave of guilt first hit me as I winced at his words, but a fire suddenly lit up within me and there was nothing I wanted to do more that slap his face.
“You do not get to say that to me, Al.” I gritted out, literally burning him with my words. It made no difference; he still stared at me in defiance. “How dare you compare my actions to yours? Yours are far worse, and don’t you say that they weren’t!”
He ruffled his hair frustratedly and let out a groan. After a few seconds, he turned back to me swiftly and held my chin up so I was looking at him directly in the eye.
“Will you ever be able to forgive me, Arianna? Or will you just continue hating me for what I did to you? Because I will tell you a thousand times over, I regret it! You weren’t the only one to get hurt. We’re never going to be safe, Ari. So are you brave enough or aren’t you?” he whispered softly near my ear, sending shivers down my back as his hands now clutched slightly onto my waist.
A single touch of his caused burns through my clothes and I almost melted into his embrace right there. It was so inviting, so comfortable, so familiar…no, I couldn’t do this. What I had with him was in the past, he was no longer part of my life – not in the same way at least. I closed my eyes, trembling all over, and was surprised to find a treacherous tear escaping.
A sob broke through as I stepped back in realization and screamed at him, “You didn’t just hurt me, Al! You broke my heart! Literally smashed it into pieces. Facing you again after that was one of the hardest things I had to do. But I’ve recovered. I don’t need you anymore, Al.” My voice sounded bitter and as I heard myself, it sounded as if someone else was speaking.
“Please, Ari, just listen to me-“
“NO!” my voice broke, now on the verge of tears, “You fucking betted on me! A bet, Al! And you actually have the courage to come and ask me for forgiveness? I’m done, Al, I’m done. I can’t, I just…please, just go away.” My voice trailed off, as I rested against a tree, my head drooping down as the tears fell down my cheeks.
He didn’t say a word. Instead, he came close to me, forced my chin upwards, and wrenched my mouth to his. My hands instantly found their way around his neck, as I pressed myself closer to him. One of his warm hands was slowly tracing circles on my hip, as the other cupped my cheek. All my thoughts were consumed by this amazing kiss, as he parted himself away from me, and I groaned slightly in frustration, before he attacked my neck with his lips. Wih my hands playing at the nape of his hair, I moaned softly and I could feel him smirking against my neck.
This feeling, this feeling of both fire and ice swirling inside me was killing me. I do not know how I stayed away from this boy for so long, when he could make me feel like this.
I could have pushed him off. Heck, I probably should have. But right now, the way he was making me weak in my knees, and Merlin, what he was doing with his hands. It was hungry and desperate, but soft and soothing at the same time.
This was Al Potter doing all these things to me. Al Potter. My ex-boyfriend. The guy I cried over for weeks. Reality dosed on me like a cold, ice bucket thrown down my back. I quickly pulled away from him, but his hands stayed firmly on me.
“Al…we can’t do this. We just can’t. It would never work. Whatever this was, it won’t happen again,” I tried to reassure both him and myself, but the words sounded shaky as they came out.
Al looked up in defiance, his unwavering gaze on me.
“Bullshit. You know that’s not true. As much as you hate to admit it, Ari, we’re right. Just give us another chance,” he said calmly.
I didn’t know how he was doing it; I was practically shaking right now and he looked as if he had just stepped out of a magazine cover.
“I’m scared, Al,” I admitted weakly, “I’m scared that you’ll hurt me again, or whatever sort of twisted relationship we have remaining.”
Al nodded slowly, trying to understand, before he asked me boldly, “So take a risk. I am. If you want, we’ll go slow. Learn to trust me again. If you want me to back off, I will though.”
Did I want him to stop fighting for us? No, most certainly not. After I had overcome my grief and all that, Rose had begged me to take Al back – even Lily tried to reason with me, and that’s saying something. But going slow? I’m not sure Al and I could even do that – our relationship was all consuming: we were either fully in it or not. But it was better that spending days without him, right?
“Slow. I like the sound of that,” I gave him a small smile and laced my fingers through his. As I did, he looked up delightedly and gave me the biggest grin I hadn’t seen in a long time. Merlin, this boy was going to be the death of me.
“You won’t regret this, Ari,” he murmured, as his lips brushed mine lightly. I certainly hope not.
So, a change in POV…did anyone see that coming? I hope you don’t mind that I slightly sidetracked to the whole Ari/Al plot but some of you seem to like it and I wanted to develop their story further. What do you guys think of them?
Though I promise it’s back to Lena next chapter. Chapter 10 won’t be until a few days, or maybe even a few weeks but I hope it’s worth the wait.
I’ve had some lovely reviews, some so detailed I was surprised people took the time to write that!
And I just had to mention, did you like the chapter name? TRIBUTE TO THE HUNGER GAMES (which is fantastic too) and of course Peeta and Katniss.
Sorry this was quite a short chapter but I really couldn’t picture another ending to it so I just left it there. Promise next chapter will be longer though.
And haven’t had anyone notice this yet, but anyone recognize two or three gossip girl quotes I’ve used so far? Review if you can please!