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I Just Can't Help Myself... by Hazel Bludger
Chapter 8: I Just Need To Explain
CHAPTER EIGHT IS HERE!!!! I'm actually a little nervous about this chapter, I hope you guys enjoy it....there's a lot of....well, how about you just read it and tell me whether you liked it or if I jut trampled on your soul in a lovely little review. So...yeah. Let's get on with this process, shall we?
Disclaimer: You know the drill, bro. If you see something foreign, it's mine because I am not British and therefore foriegn to Harry Potter's mother country. :)
Chapter Eight: I Just Need to Explain
“I should’ve jut told her, Merlin, I’m so fucking stupid!” James sobbed. “She was the perfect girl, Dorothy, I was going to marry her, and now she’s gone!”
Dorothy held his head to her chest and stroked his hair, her lunch with Freddie forgotten. “Shh, it’s okay,” she mumbled.
“No, it’s not,” he said, pushing out of her grasp. “I drunkenly snogged another bird! I should’ve been honest with her, but I lied! I cheated! Damnit, Dorothy, I love her!”
“I know you do,” she said calmly, trying to ignore the pain in her chest. “Give her time. Maybe once she cools down, you guys can talk this out.”
“No, it’s over,” James said, putting his head in his hands. “I’m so fucking stupid.”
“James,” Dorothy said firmly, pulling his face towards her to look her in the eyes. “If she’s got any brains at all, it’s not over. This is you were talking about. James Potter. It’s not like losing you is something simple, like accidentally tossing your favorite jumper. You’re a lot to lose. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she may not want to.”
James blinked slowly, searching her face for answers. “You really think that it might not be over between me and Jen?”
Dorothy forced a smile. “I really do.”
“You know, I never really noticed it before, but you’re really pretty, Dorothy.”
Dorothy’s eyes widened. “I’m sorry?”
James jumped out of her grasp as he realized what he said. “Bollocks, I’m sorry. That sounded awful.”
“No,” Dorothy said quickly. “No, it’s okay. Um, thank you. I appreciate it.”
James gave her a small smile and leaned towards her pressing a soft kiss on her cheek. “Thanks for being there for me, Dorothy. You’re really a great friend.”
Her face exploded in a hot blush as she nodded, biting down hard on her bottom lip. “Anytime, James.”
He stood and rubbed his face with his large hands, turned to face her and gave her a dazzling smile. “How do I look?”
Dorothy smiled back at him. “Wonderful.”
Dorothy rolled over in her cot as Roxanne let out another loud snore. The one thing she absolutely hated about staying at the Burrow with the Weasleys was when Rox made it to bed before her. She could stay asleep while Rox brought the house down, but Merlin forbid she try to fall asleep through the rumbling. Roxanne let out another harsh snort and Dorothy looked over at the peacefully sleeping girl, wondering how the sounds she was making weren’t painful to create.
There was a soft knock at the door. Dorothy grinned. She hopped out of bed, tossing her thickly plaited hair over her shoulder as she tip toed across the room. “Freddie, I’m going to suffocate your sister,” she joked as she pulled the door open with a loud creak, easily drowned out as Roxanne took another breath. Dorothy choked on the breath she had just taken when she saw James standing there.
“Bloody hell, I was worried about waking you,” he commented. “She sounds like the Hogwarts Express!” Dorothy stared at him, unable to speak. He furrowed his brow. “Dorothy, you okay?”
“Huh?” she said, snapping out of her shock. Her cheeks burned in embarrassment. “Oh! I’m fine! Um, what are you doing here?”
James shoved his hands in the pockets of his pajama pants, looking down. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Dorothy nodded, not fully understanding. “Okay?”
James sighed. “You know how you said you’d be there for me anytime?” Dorothy nodded. “Well, uh—” He faltered. “You know what? Never mind. I’m sorry. It was stupid—”
“James?” Dorothy said quickly. He turned to look at her and she could easily spot the sadness in his eyes. “Do you need to talk?”
His face relaxed into a sad smile. “Desperately.”
Dorothy slipped out of her and Roxanne’s room and took his arm. “Come on; let’s take a walk, okay?”
The two of them walked in silence until they got outside. Dorothy let go of his arm and wrapped her arms around her waist, watching her feet land in pockets of grass. “I miss her,” James said.
Dorothy nodded. “Has she owled?”
“She says she needs time,” James said. “That I need to prove to her I still love her.”
Dorothy scoffed. “How are you planning to do that?”
James laughed. “You’re the girl! That’s your job. To help translate the batty shit.”
“Maybe I’m not the right girl for the job, James,” Dorothy said softly. “You know, I’m not your average girl.”
James laughed. “Yeah, I know.” An awkward silence fell between the two of them as they walked through the moonlit path. Dorothy’s heart was racing. Sure, she and James were friends, but they never really spent time together just the two of them. She wasn’t sure she could handle this.
“Have you ever had a boyfriend, Dorothy?”
Dorothy’s head snapped up. “What?”
“Have you ever had a boyfriend?” James repeated.
Dorothy’s cheeks burned. “Once,” she said. “Henry LaPierre. Third year. He held my hand and ate meals with me every day for three months. I’m not really the relationship type. I used to do dates, for Hogsmeade. Not very often though. I’m not really the girl blokes think about dating.”
James nodded. “Well, you’re not an average girl.”
Dorothy nodded. “Yeah.”
James stopped walking and grabbed Dorothy’s hand. “That’s not a bad thing, Dorothy.”
“Course not,” Dorothy said. “Every girl wants to be abnormal and ignored by blokes.”
“That’s not what I mean, and you know it,” James said.
“Sorry,” Dorothy said, her cheeks reddening.
“You blush a lot,” he said, tucking a strand of blonde hair that had fallen out of her braid behind her ear. Her breath hitched in the back of her throat. “It’s cute.”
“James,” she managed to squeak as his large hand cupped her face.
“I have no clue how you aren’t completely attacked by blokes at school,” he whispered. “You’re not the average girl, Dorothy. You’re special.”
Dorothy couldn’t breathe. Her eyes frantically searched James’s face for an explanation as he stepped closer to her. The summer night was warm and slightly sticky, light from the full moon drenching them. Fireflies buzzed around the pair, humming a love song. “You’re different,” he said, his hazel eyes slipping closed.
Dorothy squeaked as James placed his lips over hers.
“I don’t understand what’s going on, James,” Dorothy said as she splashed her feet in the pond. “I’m supposed to be helping you win Jen back, right?”
“Yes,” James said as he laid back in the sandy grass beside her. “And you are.” He reached up and grabbed her arm, pulling at her to lay down with him.
“But how is snogging me helping?” Dorothy asked, shaking her arm out of his grasp. “She broke up with you for snogging another girl.”
James sat up sighing. “Jen says she needs time. Needs to sort out her feelings and such. Shouldn’t I do the same? You know, sort out whatever I’m feeling for you? I don’t want to get back with her if I fancy you. Not to mention, you still manage to give me impeccable advice that keeps her owling me. Honestly, I’d be bloody lost without you.”
“So is that what this is?” Dorothy asked. “An experiment? Keep snogging me until you’re sick of it?”
“No,” James said quickly. “Merlin, no. Of course not. I…I like you, Dorothy. A lot. And right now, I’m a single bloke with an amazing female best mate. If I like you and you like me, why shouldn’t we test the waters? That way, when Jen’s finally ready to talk, I’ll know what I want.”
Dorothy nodded. “I just feel…dirty, almost. Like we’re fooling around behind her back. She’s never been anything but nice to me—”
“Dorothy,” James said, cutting off her rambling with a short kiss. “Jen and I are broken up. You and I are perfectly fine, unless you want to stop.”
“No!” Dorothy said quickly, causing James to chuckle. She swatted his chest lightly, her face turning the shade of a ripened tomato. “Stop it,” she whined.
“I thought we just agreed that you didn’t want to stop,” James teased.
Dorothy rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You’re insufferable.”
“We’ve got to tell Freddie,” Dorothy said, leaning her head back into the rough bark of the thick tree out in back of the Potter’s home. “He’s threatening to kidnap me if I keep blowing him off.”
James frowned, sitting down beside her against the tree trunk. “I don’t know, Dorothy—”
“James, he’s my best mate,” Dorothy said.
“Well, yeah, he’s mine too,” James shot back. “I’m just worried he won’t understand.”
“Won’t understand?” Dorothy asked. “James, it’s not like you’re cheating on Jen with me. You two have been broken up all summer.”
“He’ll think I’m using you,” James said.
Dorothy shook her head. “You’re not using me.”
“Well, it feels like I am sometimes,” he blurted out.
Dorothy turned to look at him. “Really?”
“Course it does, Dorothy,” James said. “Like you said in the beginning, we got close because you were supposed to be helping me get back with Jen. And then I kept kissing you.”
“Hey,” Dorothy said, scrambling over to him and taking his face in her hands. “Look at me.” She locked eyes with him. “I swear to Merlin, you are not taking advantage of me. If anyone is taking advantage of anyone, it’s me with you. I let you keep kissing me. You were the vulnerable one.”
“You’re not,” he interjected.
“Good,” she said with a smile. “Because I don’t want either one of us to regret anything that happens between us this summer.” She pressed her forehead against his and her eyes slipped shut. “Okay?”
He smiled and pecked her lips softly. “Okay.”
“We need to tell Freddie,” she said, eyes still closed.
“Well, that’s good because he’s got a hell of a lot of questions,” Freddie snapped from above them. Dorothy and James leapt apart to see Freddie Weasley standing before them, anger radiating off of him in nearly visible waves. “And he expects some honest answers starting right now.”
Two people entered the Leaky Cauldron about fifteen minutes before closing and sat in Dorothy’s section. Sighing, she grabbed two menus and made her way over to the table in the back, annoyed that she was stuck with who were going to be that night’s final customers. “Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron, my name’s Thee, our specials tonight are—oh, it’s you two,” she said, finally realizing that Freddie and James were the ones sitting at the table, beaming stupidly up at her. “I take it you two are speaking again?” she said with a grin.
“No answers until you’ve finished your waitress speech,” Freddie demanded. “It’s my favorite part of coming to the pub.”
“Come on, babe,” James said with a smirk. “It’s cute.”
“You two come in fifteen minutes before the dining room closes and expect me to play nice waitress?” Dorothy teased. “You’ve got to be joking.”
“James is staying the night,” Freddie said. “We just wanted to grab something edible instead of the wheatgrass stew my mum made for dinner.”
“My mum gave her that recipe,” Dorothy said, handing the boys menus. “So I’d hush up about it unless you want Hannah shoving a broomstick up your arse.”
“Feisty,” James joked.
“Hannah’d never lay a hand on me,” Freddie said with a toothy grin. “She loves me too much. Everyone knows I’m her favorite.”
“I’ll still have her spit in your food, Weasley,” Dorothy said. “Tell her it’s James’s plate.” She ran her hand through James’s hair fondly as he gaped up at her in surprise. “I’m glad you two are talking again.”
“Took long enough,” James said with a pout. “He never stopped talking to you.”
“That’s because he doesn’t know how to be mad at me. Never has,” Dorothy said, pecking James’s cheek. “It’s one of my favorite things about him.”
“Ugh, cut the couple crap around me, would you? It’s bloody disgusting,” Freddie groaned.
James shot him a cheeky smirk. “What can I say? I love a girl in uniform.”
Dorothy laughed and walked over to another one of her tables, clearing empty plates away with a flick of her wand.
“She wants me back,” James said breathlessly.
Dorothy’s chest tightened. “She does?”
“She says she thinks she does,” James said. “I can’t believe it.”
“What are you going to do?” Dorothy asked. “Does she know about us?”
“Us?” James asked. “Merlin, no! And she doesn’t need to. I mean, it’s not like we were ever official. We knew going into it I wanted to be with Jen.”
Dorothy felt as though she was going to vomit. “We did?”
James looked at her. “We talked about this, Dorothy. Jen and I weren’t together, so it was okay to test the waters. I mean, if Jen didn’t want me, I would date you in a heartbeat. Honestly. You’re a brilliant, fantastic girl. But Jen’s my number one, y’know?”
Dorothy let out a harsh laugh. “Right. Of course.”
“You said it was okay,” James said, grabbing her hand. “You said I wasn’t using you.”
“No, you weren’t,” Dorothy said. “I just thought that this summer meant something more than number two on some list of birds you’d date.”
“Of course it did, Dorothy!” James said. “But it’s…it’s Jen. She’s all I ever wanted.”
Dorothy nodded. “I know, James. I know.”
“We’ve got to stop.”
“James?” Dorothy asked as she opened her bedroom window to see James floating there on his broomstick. “What are you doing here?”
“I need you,” he said. Dorothy could hear how upset he was in shaking of his voice.
“What happened?” she asked, letting him into her bedroom.
“Jen and I got into a fight,” he said. He dropped his broom and grabbed her, hugging her to him. “Do you mind…just once more…”
Dorothy nodded, taking his face in her hands. “Anytime, James. What are friends for?”
He smiled in relief and covered her mouth with his own, just trying to forget.
“And from there, it was just small things. She’d blow him off for her friends. She didn’t owl him back for a few days. He’d go to me as a way to remind himself that someone still cared,” Dorothy said.
Hope and Fiona stared at her in silence, processing the story of Dorothy and James. Their friendship turned romance turned not. “Bloody hell,” Fiona breathed. “Longbottom, you’re just full of surprises.”
“What I don’t understand is why you kept letting him come back,” Hope said. “After everything he put you through, you just kept making excuses for him.”
“I loved him,” Dorothy said. “I thought I always had, since I was twelve. But then that summer, I fell so hard for that boy. I would’ve done anything to keep him around.”
“Hooked up,” Fiona muttered. She then gasped loudly. “Oh, bugger, did you two shag?”
“No!” Dorothy cried. “No. Neither of us was ready.”
“Thank Merlin,” Fiona muttered. “Not that there’s anything wrong with shagging, course, I mean, your decision.” Dorothy and Hope both stared at Fiona’s outburst with uneasy confusion, neither really knowing how to respond. “Wait, why didn’t you tell Freddie from the start?” Fiona demanded, snapping out of her mental conversation. “You two don’t keep anything from each other.”
“It was never supposed to be anything,” Dorothy insisted. “It started out as a couple kisses, and then suddenly it was this whole secret…thing. James was scared to tell him. So was I.”
“What about now?” Hope asked suddenly. “He and Jen have been back together for what? A month?”
Dorothy nodded. “He ended things permanently. The day we were supposed to look through my Quidditch journal the first time.”
“I knew there was more to that then you not feeling well,” Hope said.
“Not to mention Freddie came tearing through the common room not ten minutes after she went to bed with ice cream and he spent the night,” Fiona reminded her.
“Sorry,” Dorothy said.
“It’s okay,” Fiona said shrugging. “We all make mistakes.”
“James wasn’t a mistake,” Dorothy said firmly. “I always mean that. I don’t regret my summer with James. I don’t regret anything I did or anything I said. I love him.”
“Love?” Hope asked, worry evident in her voice.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Dorothy said. “I’ll always love him. But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with him anymore.”
“Are you?” Fiona asked.
Dorothy was quiet for a moment. “Honestly, I don’t know.” Hope and Fiona shared a look full of concern. “Did he really tell Jen that he wished she was more like me?”
“Yes,” Hope said hesitantly.
Dorothy smiled, a stupid giddiness filling her all the way up from her toes. Her thick blonde hair was still slightly wet, and she began to braid it to go to sleep. “Isn’t that just a fun thought.”
“Longbottom,” Fiona warned. “I wouldn’t go do anything with that information. You’re in a good place right now. Don’t go ruining your happiness with some boy who’s still in a relationship with the perfect girl.”
“She can’t be too perfect if she’s being told to be like me,” Dorothy said happily. “And I’m not, don’t worry. I’ve got too much on my plate right now to add James Potter.”
Fiona bit her bottom lip. “I don’t believe you.”
Dorothy laughed and rolled her eyes, securing the bottom of her braid with an elastic from around her wrist. “Well, you should. We’re Hufflepuffs, doesn’t that make us trustworthy?”
“Even Hufflepuffs can be dishonest,” Hope said.
“Yeah, she’s a prime example,” Fiona joked.
“You are a horrible human being,” Hope snapped. “Why am I friends with you?”
“You’d shrivel without me,” Fiona replied grinning.
“Well, I’m still in my robe, I’d like to put my pajamas on,” Dorothy said, laughing to herself and standing from her fourposter. She made her way over to her dresser and pulled out flannel pants and Freddie’s old Quidditch kit. “It’s been an eventful day. We should all get some shut eye.”
“Wait!” Fiona screamed. Dorothy jumped, dropping the shirt on her bed.
“Bloody hell, you freak of nature, what?” Hope snapped
Fiona smirked devilishly. “How was your date with Marcus?”
Hope’s face went pale. Dorothy snorted with laughter and pulled Freddie’s shirt on over her head, then stepped into her pants. “Come on, Jacobs, spill! You’re the only one who hasn’t!”
“He took me to Pudifoot’s, how great could it have been?” Hope said.
“Aw, come on, Marcus is a sweetheart,” Dorothy said.
“Not my type,” Hope said, crawling beneath the covers. “What was that said about needing sleep?”
“Hope, anything that asks you out is deemed not your type,” Fiona said rolling her eyes. “What’s his problem?”
Hope sighed. “He used ketchup and kisses like a drunken frog. He’s a wonderful friend. And I told him that. No harm done. Goodnight, girls.”
Fiona and Dorothy laughed. “Goodnight, Hopie,” Fiona sang, turning out her light.
“Sweet dreams,” Dorothy said, shutting her light off. She snuggled deep into her covers and closed her eyes, sighing happily. She knew her dreams would be sweet.
So....what do you think ? I'm honestly dying to know. If you haven't yet left a review on a chapter, please make your first time this one, because I really am nervous about the possible reactions. So, rate and review!!! Thanks for reading!!!
Peace, Love, and Potter,