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Chapter 6: How could you?
It’s funny how things can change when somebody tells you they liked you because then you start to feel that you like them but do you think that because it’s always been inside you but you’ve never admitted it to yourself? Or do you feel that because you think you have to? That you think if someone likes (liked) you then you’re supposed to like them back? That seems to be what’s happening to me.
I don’t know whether I like Hugo or not. Whenever I think about him, my stomach feels all funny and twisty but that could be for a number of reasons. It could be because I know he’s going to be beaten up or it could be because I remember him topless and I just can’t get it out of my head. I know I’m just a hormonal teenage girls thinking about boys but do I like him? Or do I want to like him? There are many reasons why I would want to like him: he knows he better than anyone else, even my family; he’s kind and sweet and good looking; and I know he’ll always be here for me, I know that even if we broke up it wouldn’t be awkward. I know that it wouldn’t be like how it was with me and Lewis.
Which brings me onto the subject of Lewis and my feelings for him. Whenever I think of him or see him, I go red. Am I blushing? Or am I just embarrassed? Isobel thinks that it’s because he was my first real love and you can never really let go of that. I’m positive that Lewis is over me otherwise he would have made a move. He’s always been very forward with his feelings, which is something I’ll always admire.
Conclusion is: do I like Hugo? Or do I think I like Hugo? Being a girl is so difficult at times. Not that the decision will be of any benefit to be. Even if it turns out I like Hugo, he has a girlfriend and as much as I’d like to, I’m not going to split them up as that would definitely diminish and form of friendship between us.
‘Hey, I bought you tea.’ Isobel hands me the steaming hot cup of strong tea and takes a sip of her own which I know has at least four sugars.
I thank her and take a gulp of my tea; the hot liquid running down my throat is somewhat comforting to me. Comfort is what I need right now, as if being huddled in the blue quilted Ravenclaw duvet with my entire stash of Honeydukes chocolate laid out in front of me wasn’t enough.
‘The Quidditch match is in a couple of hours,’ Isobel mentions.
I sigh. Can I even be bothered? I know that originally, I wanted to save Hugo but now the time has come I realise that there’s not much I can do. As if the butch guy in Gryffindor will pay any attention to me. Nobody will pay attention to me; they never have done before so I doubt anything will change. I’d have a chance if I was immensely popular and people knew who I am but they don’t.
‘What’s the point?’ I mumble.
‘Hugo getting beaten up, that’s the point,’ Isobel tries to encourage me.
‘But let’s be real here, there’s nothing I can do to stop it,’ I tell her bluntly.
‘Well…no, maybe there isn’t anything you can do but you can be there to help him to the Hospital Wing where he will realise that he’s madly in love with you and dump Eleanor then you can run off into the sunset.’ Isobel giggles at her comment and I join in.
‘I don’t think he’ll really be up to running.’ I snort.
Isobel almost spits out her tea laughing but I’m glad she doesn’t – that would be a nuisance to clear up because apparently it’s ‘unfair on the House elves’ which is stupid because that’s what they’re paid to do.
Isobel stops laughing. ‘But seriously, get your butt out of bed and get ready because we’re going to that Quidditch match whether you like it or not. Bring a coat – it’s raining.’
With that, Isobel takes my empty mug and leaves me to get ready. I lie snuggled in bed for a while before I realise that I really should get up unless I wanted to die a painful death committed by Isobel. Nobody wants that.
‘So you finally decided to turn up then.’
Isobel’s mascara is streaked down her face and her wet hair hangs limply past her shoulders. Her teeth are chattering due to the cold and wet which makes me roll my eyes. The silly mare forgot her coat and umbrella despite telling me to bring mine.
Luckily for her, I’m wearing me extra thick robe which is at least two sizes too big and I brought my umbrella along. You see, some people prepare for these things.
I let Isobel huddle with me under the robe and put a levitation spell on the umbrella so it hovers above us. Unfortunately neither of us knows the incantation for the water repelling spell which would be really handy right about now.
The match is in full swing with Ravenclaw in the lead. I can barely even see Hugo because he’s flying so fast but I can hear Eleanor cheering him on. What’s she doing? Who cheers on another house when their own is playing? That’s just house disloyalty.
Nevertheless, Isobel and I cheered Ravenclaw on until our throats were sore and dry and the people around us had edged away. We are very supportive if I do say so myself.
Ravenclaw are in the lead but nobody has caught or even caught sight of the snitch yet. I really wish the match would end because it’s bloody freezing and wet and I’m starving. My tea and chocolate is calling out to me and if I have to spend even five more minutes out here, I’m going to go absolutely bonkers.
I focus my attention on Hugo who’s confidently soaring through the passing the Quaffle back and forth with another Chaser who I don’t the name of. Sometimes I forget Hugo even plays Quidditch because he only ever has it very early in the morning.
‘I could really do with a massive cup of chocolate with loads of sugar, cream, marshmallows, chocolate dust and a chocolate flake sticking out the top right now,’ Isobel mutters, shivering.
‘I thought you were on a diet?’
‘A girl can dream.’
We go back to watching the infuriatingly long match with only the chattering of our teeth to fill the silence that has engulfed the entire Ravenclaw stand as people watch the match intently. Hugo is still passing that bloody Quaffle.
‘Alright ladies?’ an all too familiar and disliked voice calls followed by a catcall.
‘Birk,’ I say monotonously.
Birk really isn’t the person I want to see right now. He’s never the person I want to see.
Isobel looks at me with confusion and I shrug my shoulders. I forgot to tell her about Birk and Banjo. I did, however, tell her about Lewis and throughout the whole story she gave me little snippets of friendly reminders that I was a total idiot.
Birk swaggers up the steps and along the rows until he reaches us. My stomach drops, please don’t tell me I have to spend the rest of the game with him.
‘Hello, fair Isobel.’ Birk winks which makes me feel sick to the stomach.
However, it has the opposite effect on Isobel who blushes. Why are all of my friends insistent on betraying me?
‘I thought you were on the team?’ Isobel asks.
How does she know this? Oh yeah, Isobel actually speaks to people unlike me. Ha.
‘Injury.’ Birk points to his badly wrapped leg. Either he’s really bad at Quidditch so they don’t want him on the team or Ravenclaw’s really aren’t as smart as everyone thinks.
‘So you’re faking an injury to get out of the match?’ I ask, exchanging looks with Isobel.
Birk just nods and smiles.
‘It’s cold, wet and I can’t be arsed.’ Birk shrugs as if it’s the most simple thing ever.
‘You’re unreal,’ I mutter.
Birk then plonks himself down onto the seat next to me. ‘I know baby, I know.’
I focus my attention back on the match while Isobel and Birk talk behind my back – literally. They’re not saying stuff about me; they’re leaning around behind me in order to talk to one another. I could just swap places with one of them but I’m too settled in and comfortable for that.
Everything is running smoothly, Hugo has finally scored and Ravenclaw are in the lead. I notice the butch Gryffindor going red in the face as he summons one of the beaters. On his way over he has to bat a Bludger away and I can see it heading for Hugo. I tightly grip the edge of my seat but almost as soon as the Bludger was hit, Hugo notices it and moves to the left of its destination. With this, I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding.
The butch Gryffindor Keeper says something to the Beater quickly and the Beater nods his head before flying away with a shifty look in his eyes. Nobody else seems to have noticed this except for me. Isobel and Birk have stopped paying attention to the game as Birk is still trying to chat Isobel up and she isn’t resisting to what Birk assumes is his charm. They’re so wrong for each other; I can’t even begin to comprehend it.
My eyes are glued to the match. That Beater is acting awfully suspicious, circling Hugo like a hawk to its prey. Hugo doesn’t notice and my shouts would be futile because the stadium is in uproar, cheering on their houses. It’s almost as loud as a Gryffindor vs Slytherin match (which I know because I can hear them form my dorm), almost.
‘Come on, come on, come on,’ I mutter through my chattering teeth.
I want the Beater to ‘fulfil his task’ before I die of anticipation. On the other hand, I don’t want him too because I’m fairly sure whatever he’s going to do will hurt Hugo which of course I don’t want to happen. The suspense is killing me.
‘Hey, Tia.’ Isobel taps on my shoulder. ‘What do you think of –’
Isobel doesn’t get to finish her question as she is interrupted by a loud outcry of outrage and the commentator yelling, ‘AND HUGO WEASLEY IS DOWN, KNOCKED OUT COLD BY THOSE FILTHY GRYFFINDORS, I THOUGHT YOU WERE MEANT TO BE CHIVALROUS? YOU JUST KNOCKED OUT ONE OF OUR BEST PLAYERS. YOU’RE – sorry miss, I’ll try to control myself next time.’
Three guesses for what house they’re in.
I watch in horror as Hugo and his broom fall to the ground, helped by one of the teachers casting ‘Aresto Momentum’ to slow down his fall. Through the rain and I see something red dribbling from his head. My throat feels dry and time slows down as I stand up on wobbly legs and push my way through the furious crowd that has gathered.
Faintly, I can hear Birk say, ‘that’s gotta hurt.’
With Isobel scolding him with a, ‘shut up.’
The crowded Ravenclaws let me through as I suppose they recognise me Hugo’s best friend; there was a point where we were practically inseparable until Eleanor came into the picture. Those were good days.
At the same times as I reach the pitch I see Eleanor running across the grass to Hugo. My mind is blurred with anger, pure anger. This is her fault. I bet you could have stopped the Butch Gryffindor if she wanted to but she didn’t. She bloody didn’t, she chose not to.
‘Eleanor,’ I yell and the action hurts my dry throat but I have to ‘talk’ to her.
Her heads whips around and she stops still, waiting for me to reach her. I’m surprised, I thought she would have ignored me and carried on waling to her precious Hugo.
‘This is all your fault,’ I seethe, prodding my finger at her.
‘How is it my fault?’ she exclaims.
‘You could have stopped him, you could have told your stupid ex-boyfriend to give up,’ I say angrily. ‘I’m sure you could have…persuaded him.’
Her expression is a mixture of horror, anger and embarrassment. ‘Stop while you’re at it, Tilly –’
‘Tia,’ I correct her with narrowed eyes.
‘Tilly, Tia, what’s the difference? Just give up, I know you’re jealous. You’re just jealous that Hugo’s finally found somebody worth spending his time on, instead of the waste of the space that’s you.’
Tears prick at my eyes but I hold them in. ‘You’re wrong, even if you and Hugo are still together, we go way back. At least I know he’ll always be in my life and he’ll always care for me.’ I think I’ve earned the Power of Love and Cheese, pow pow.
‘Adorable.’ Eleanor smirks before she whips me in the face with her hair and struts off to where Hugo’s being levitated on a stretcher to the hospital wing.
I hate her. I hate her. I hate her.
After the Quidditch match we have lessons. Lessons mean I don’t get to see Hugo for another three hours. He could be dead for all I know.
History of Magic is the worst lesson for worrying. In most lessons, you’re engaged in some form of practical work or writing or something to take your minds off things but in History of Magic, that’s just not possible. All we’re expected to do is take notes and write essays. It’s repeated pattern every lesson, I’m surprised Professor Binns is even allowed to teach anymore because this is a terrible teaching method.
I can’t stop thinking about Hugo, how dead he looked through the fog and rain. My conversation with Eleanor echoes around my head and I feel sick. I’m not jealous. I’m not. She doesn’t deserve him.
Usually I have Hugo to distract me in History of Magic as he sits in front of me and I will never find the end to the joy I feel kicking his chair when I get bored. His reactions are much too funny. But now he’s not here and I have the added worry of how he’s keeping up in the Hospital Wing on my plate. I did consider skipping this lesson but I couldn’t have another run in with Professor Kenwick, I would be expelled for sure. My reputation with the teachers will have really gone down the drain.
So I’ve had to suck it up and endure the longest three hours of my life.
Right now, I wouldn’t even mind having Birk for company. At least me feeling annoyed by him and him talking away and just being Birk would keep my mind off Hugo but I have no one. Isobel, like the smart and true Ravenclaw she is, dropped History of Magic when she had the chance. I wish I’d done the same.
As I stare blindly at the ghost floating around the room I notice a familiar face turn to face me. It’s Banjo. I never even knew he was in this lesson shows how much attention I pay to my surroundings.
‘Are you okay?’ he mouths.
I shake my head sadly. There’s no use in lying.
Banjo smiles sympathetically. ‘It will be ok.’
I mouth back, ‘I hope so.’
I really do hope so. I can’t lose my best friend. Technically, I’ve already lost him but I can’t have him gone, like, out of my life for good. I’d have Isobel but nothing would be the same without Hugo. He’s made such a huge impact on my life that I feel nothing would be the same without him. There would be a missing piece that only Hugo can fill.
That was deep of me but what can I say? I’m a true artist with words.
The clock ticks by slowly, every second feels like an hour. I don’t know if I can take it anymore. My O.W.L’s are this year and concentrating would be a good idea but it’s near impossible for me to do so right now. I simply cannot do it.
If Eleanor and Hugo had never met then everything would be different. I would be kicking Hugo’s chair right now, waking him up from his doze with each kick. Hugo and I would be the Dynamic Duo; nobody would be able to get in between us. Maybe Hugo would have confessed his feelings (unlikely but you never know) maybe we’d be an item, or friends with benefits at the most. Who knows? Life would be better, or maybe it would be worse. Maybe Hugo would have confessed his feelings and maybe I would have rejected him and maybe Hugo would have made it as awkward as possible and we’d be back in this situation. Except this time, chances are, Hugo still wouldn’t be in the Hospital Wing but I wouldn’t be kicking his chair. We would be sat in silence while I stared at the little tuft of hair that always stuck up at the back.
Then I would realise what an idiot I was for rejecting him and would confess my feelings. Then we would ride off into the sunset on our unicorns sharing candyfloss with cheesy pop music in the background and fluffy bunnies hopping along behind us.
Happily ever after.
At last, lessons are over and I can finally see Hugo. I meet up with Isobel on the way to give me some moral support on the way there which is nice of her considering she doesn’t really like Hugo all that much.
‘So…’ Isobel sighed as why climbed the moving staircase, being sure the hop over the missing step. ‘Birk’s funny.’
I appreciate she’s trying to put me at ease but bringing Birk into the conversation? Really?
‘He’s an idiot, that’s what he is,’ I mutter.
‘You may think that but he’s actually really nice.’ One look at Isobel’s face tells me that she’s blushing, how bloody cute.
We walk in silence for the next few minutes.
‘Do you think he likes me?’ Isobel blurts out, red faced.
I pause for thought. ‘Yes, why wouldn’t he? Honestly, Iz, have you seen yourself? Birk may be stupid but he isn’t blind and you’re a lovely person. I suppose you could balance out his idiocy.’
Isobel smiled brightly making her face turn redder than it already is.
‘Well this is my stop,’ I say as we reach the Hospital Wing.
‘Good luck.’ Isobel gives me a quick hug before walking back the way we came, to find Birk no doubt.
With a deep breath, I push open the heavy double doors and walk into the Hospital Wing. This is it. Finally all my worries will be over.
But then I am stopped by Madam Brown.
‘Miss Birch,’ she snaps, ‘what are you doing here?’
‘I’m here to see Hugo,’ I tell her.
‘Please, Madam,’ I plead almost close to tears, I won’t let her steal this moment from me and keep me worrying until he’s allowed out.
After a moment of contemplation, Madam Brown gives in. ‘Alright, fine, but you have ten minutes!’
‘Thank you!’ I chirp.
Madam Brown points me to Hugo’s bed and I cautiously walk over there. I’m not sure why I’m so scared, Hugo won’t hurt me.
‘Tea?’ he croaks as I perch myself on the stool next to his bed. Seeing all the cards and chocolate, I immediately feel bad for not bringing him anything but it’s too late now. I can always fetch him some of my Honeydukes stash when he gets out.
‘Yes, it’s me, hi Hugo.’ I smile softly at him. ‘How are you?’
‘I’m sorry,’ Hugo mutters.
‘For what?’ I question, confused.
‘For not listening to you, it’s all my fault.’
‘No,’ I say sternly, ‘don’t you go blaming yourself! It is not your fault, it couldn’t have been helped.’
‘If …I had listened to you and …dumped Eleanor…’ Hugo coughed.
This was too good to be true.
‘I’d be fine,’ Hugo says louder than before.
‘I shouldn’t have told you to dump Eleanor,’ I say. I can’t have him thinking this, if Eleanor finds out she’ll have my head and I don’t want Hugo to dump her just because I said to.
‘I should have listened to you.’
‘You don’t have to listen to whatever I say.’
Hugo laughs humourlessly. ‘Yeah I do, you’re smart. You’re smarter than me. You know better than me. You’re like my angel.’
I can feel a blush rising in my cheeks. Must. Control. Self. Although I’m pretty sure Hugo’s taking some weird painkillers which are making him say all of this. By the time he’s better, he won’t remember a thing.
‘You’re a tea angel who brings people joy and tea, you’re way cooler and better than Eleanor,’ Hugo slurs.
‘Shut up, Hugo. You don’t mean that.’ I grit my teeth, wishing this could be true.
‘Yeah I do.’
‘No you don’t.’
‘I don’t even like –’
‘Up you get, Birch, visiting time is over.’ Madam Brown marches out of her office to shoo me away.
‘But –’ I try to protest. I was so close to finding out vital information.
‘Not but’s, I said ten minutes and you’ve had twelve. Now go!’
Reluctantly, I stand up from the stool.
‘Bye tea angel.’
So here goes my best and first attempt at drama, how was it? As promised, it was a long'un (although I've seen 15,000 word chapters so...to each their own I suppose) and there was lots of Hugo - lots of injured Hugo but Hugo nonetheless and a bit of Birk/Isobel action!
A small review telling me what you thought is appreciated but just enjoying the story is great too :D