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The Dursley Freak by rey
Chapter 1: How It All Begins
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A/N: Hi! This is my first story that's ever been posted. It may just be a huge bag of suck. But, you know, you could still give it a shot. Wink, wink?
Oh, and I don't own anything. Well, I do. Just the plot and a few of OC's. But, that's all. The rest is JKR's. Read on!
How It All Begins
Dursley. Before all the hype, I thought it was a decent surname. Not too common and not too strange. In the end, it was a surname not unlike any other. Except, it was.
To be a Dursley, I soon found out, was not the best thing you could do in the wizarding world. But I had no choice. I was the daughter of the boy who, for years, tortured the Harry Potter, who also happens to be my uncle. It wouldn't be so bad if I stayed in the muggle world, living my muggle life. But no... Someone, or something, had a different plan for me.
I, Dora Dursley, am a muggleborn witch. Life just loves me.
Wondering how it all started?
You know how all the muggleborn wizards and witches say that they always felt different? Special? And when they finally got their Hogwarts letter, it was the answer they were waiting for. The answer to why they felt like they didn't belong, the answer to who they were really supposed to become.
Well... It didn't really work out like that for me. No, scratch that. When I got the bloody thing and later read it, my first thought was to rip it apart and make our dog Yellow eat it! And I'm the rational one in our family!
I actually liked my muggle life. I liked being normal. Being average... Ok, maybe not that much. But really, NORMAL was my thing. I felt at peace with myself. I didn't need any stupid letter to "open my eyes to a whole new world of different possibilities". I loved my muggle life (Minus the fact that my only friend was Yellow.). But as it turns out, it wasn't my life to live after all.
It happened when I was ten. Out of nowhere. Well, that's what I originally thought. Dad was doing some exercises, trying to live a healthier life, or rather pretending to for mum and me. I just returned from school and a highly stressful day. Mary White called me a heartless beast. The teasing and the name calling started from my first day at school. I was focused on my lessons and soon became a top student. The other children didn't like this. Ok, maybe I was also a little rude to them when they asked for help. But that doesn't give them the right to torture me! I had no time for them. I needed to focus on my future.
Man, I really was a heartless beast, wasn't I? Not to mention that I may still be one.
Needless to say, I was not in my best mood. But dad most certainly was. Even though he was sweating like a pig, doing the most simple warm-up exercises.
"How was your day, sweetie?"
"Goodie! Oh, can you get me a bottle of water? It’s in the fridge, on the top."
I was too frustrated to walk all the way to the kitchen. But, I had a soft spot for my dad. So, I began my way to the bottle's residence, all the way thinking: "If it could just fly to me... Now that would be goodie."
And just like that... it did.
The small bottle of water flew all across the kitchen, throughout the dining and living room, right into my face. It knocked me down! Not to mention unconscious.
It was one of those freak accidents, I thought.
Except, it wasn't.
* * *
"Wake up, sunshine,
wake up, my love,
wake up darling
to the sun above."
My hand launches itself on the small clock that is singing an all too happy tune. My mother thinks it's a great idea to start the morning with a nice song. Seriously? I love my mum, but she has no musical taste.
Ahhhh... Silence at last!
"Sweetie, are you up?"
Well, there goes that.
I put the pillow over my face, trying to at least pretend that I'm still sleeping.
"Come on, Dora. You have to get up." My mother takes away the pillow and crushes my dreams.
I take a glance at her. She is in her usual 'working' clothes-trousers and a flowery shirt. My mum's a painter. Aside from being a History of art teacher, that is. That should somewhat explain her attire... or not. She does have too many yellow shirts.
"Mum, he'll be here at four o'clock. I don't have to get up."
"But you need to pack."
"Which takes, like, five minutes."
"That's what you think. Because I always pack you. And trust me, it takes more than five minutes."
When I do it at Hogwarts it takes just five, thank you very much.
"Why do I still have to go every summer?" I groan.
Mum looks at me as if I'm not even speaking her language. Which, most of the time, it appears I'm not.
"Dora, you make it sound like it's the most awful thing in the world." Her face suddenly falls.
Argh! I hate it when she does that! It makes me feel like I'm a terrible, terrible person. Which I'm not... entirely. Oh, come on, who doesn't slip far too much salt in their parent's food from time to time?
"Muuuum, don't do that!"
She sits on the edge of my bed, examining my face.
Everyone says that, physically, I'm just like her. Have her height, her skinny body, her wild curls and blue eyes. The only difference is, my hair is blond and hers is deep-brown.
"What is it that bugs you so much about going to the Potters?"
Ok, people, here's the thing. I don't HATE the Potters. Well, not all of them, that is.
My uncle is great. He's funny, interesting and kind. I like Ginny, too. Yells all the time, that one, but I guess that's her thing. Albus is my favourite cousin (Yes, I know I shouldn't have one. But really, who cares?). Lily is sweet. But James... Well... Maybe hate is too strong of a word. Let's just say, we don't get along.
"James." I answer simply.
My mother rolls her eyes. “Dora, this is ridiculous!"
"What, that he makes me feel like I'm the offspring of the devil himself?!"
It pours out, before I even realize what I'm saying.
But it's the truth. I mean, I know dad wasn't the best cousin out there. But that's it. It's in the past. However, James somehow doesn't seem to understand the concept of time.
I sometimes feel like I was born just to pay for my dad's past sins. I know, it's an awful thing to say. It's not that I blame him. He's a great dad. I blame my karma. Well, Charlie blames it, anyway. She says I was Hitler in my past life. How she even knows about Hitler is beyond me. Especially considering the fact that the only subjects she's interested in are Potions, Divination and Astronomy. I have caught her sleeping in our Muggle Studies class, over and over again.
My mother sighs. She's generally a happy person. It seems that she isn't just when I start to dwell on my horrible fate. Not that I believe in fate.
"You should be the sane one. Try to have a normal conversation with him. I don't think it's that hard."
"Mum, believe me, it's more probable to find a goldfish flying with a black cat in the seventh heaven, than to have a decent conversation with James Sirius Potter. " I say darkly.
Mum rolls her eyes once again and then gets up. "I don't believe you."
She walks out the room but returns mere seconds later pulling my trunk behind her. Now I let out a sigh.
"Hear me out!" She interrupts holding her index finger up, as a sign for me to shut the hell up. "If... If you even try to talk to James this summer, I will..."
Now this is what I'm talking about. A reason for me to even bother with that dense self-absorbed idiot.
"I'll... I'll let you go to Paris."
Suddenly, an unusual noise comes from downstairs that ends my shriek. Like a glass shattering. No... It's not just like. Yup, dad dropped something. Why am I not surprised? Soon, he enters the room, panting, in the company of our dog Yellow, who is waving his... well, yellow tail.
"What's going on?! Why are you yelling?!"
Wow, I must have really scared him. He usually doesn't run this fast. I myself have inherited his non existent talent for any kind of sport and physical activity.
Yellow visibly relaxes as he spots me. He leaks my hand. I pat his head. I love this dog. If humans could be more like animals, the world would be such a lovely place. People are so unnecessary complicated, it frustrates me. All the secrets, lies, dissimulation, facades... Come on! Animals do it so much better. You can tell if they like you or not. And even if they don't give a damn. It is that simple, people! Watch and learn!
I shriek. “Mum said I can go to Paris!"
Dad turns to my mother, who manages to slip a small nervous smile.
Dad is not strict, per se. It's just that he loves having me around so much, that he hates when I have to go somewhere. I'm away from home for so long, that it breaks his heart if I want to spend my summer elsewhere and not with the family.
Mum mouths a sorry.
"Vicky, what's going on? Why does Dora think that she'll go to Paris?"
"Because I said so." Mum repeats my words trying to sound positive, even though it's obvious from her lip biting that it's just a facade.
And there she goes, trying to portray something that is not true. Why?
And, seriously, am I invisible or something? I just said the same darn thing!
"I’m sorry, what?" Dad's eye twitches.
Ok, maybe I do understand the facade now. Just a little bit, though. Dad's like a big bear who's actually a bunny inside. Err... Ok, that doesn't make sense at all. Whatever.
"She won't go to the Potters otherwise." Mum gives dad a serious look, like this is a matter of life and death.
"So she'll stay here. What's the big deal?"
Thanks, dad! I knew you'd make her see reason!
But... Wait... That means... No Paris.
Wow, who would have thought I'd rather choose James? Blimey, I must be growing up. Or dumb. One of those two, for sure. I ponder at my own thoughts, which I do, often.
"You know this is good for her. She needs to be with children her age more often. Or she'll end up as a social cripple."
"Thanks mum. I'm still here, by the way. And I have friends, thank you very much. So I'm not a social cripple!"
"Friends. How many friends do you have?"
Now, don't think my mum's rude. She's just a little... out there. She speaks her mind. I try to do the same. But when I do it, people don't really tend to respond positively.
Also, mum thinks it's unhealthy to have less than ten friends. She's a very out-going kind of person. That's how she managed to meet my dad. If she was more like me... Well, I wouldn't be telling you this in the first place.
"Mum, it's not the quantity that matters. It's the quality." I say smugly like that's something I just thought up.
"That is completely true." Dad stands by my side.
And again, he made her see reason. I love dad. This is why I'm rational, like him. It's so rewarding.
Mum trows her hands in the air. “Fine, I'm sorry for wanting you to be close with your family. I'm sorry I care about you!"
She picks up my trunk and storms out of my room.
Well, at least I've got Paris!
* * *
At four o'clock correctly uncle Harry appears in our living room. His black hair is messier than usual, which must be some kind of record really, his tie is wrapped around his neck in a way that, for a moment, makes me think he's suffocating and his glasses have slipped a bit down his nose. Yup, that's my uncle, no doubt about it.
"Oh no, I lost it again!" He looks at his glasses and that's when I realize one of their lenses is missing.
Lately, this has become a recurring event for him. He says it's his best friend Ron finally rubbing off on him.
He shakes the glasses a bit, like it will somehow make the lens reappear. Well, he's Harry Potter. If it ever does happen, I'm sure it'll happen to him.
Finally, he gives up, mutters a spell and slides his glasses up his nose, taking in the sight of us three.
"Hi guys! Ah... Little Dora... Not so little anymore, ay?" He ruffles my hair.
Ladies and gentlemen, Harry Potter, the messy hair lover.
"Wow, you're almost as tall as Albus." He continues.
"Really?" Albus is tall.
I mean really tall.
I manage a fake smile.
Uncle Harry grins at my parents instead. "Are you guys sure you want to let her go to Potter-land again? It's not always on the safe side, you know."
Dad opens his mouth in an attempt to say something, but mum gets there first.
"We're absolutely sure!"
FYI, my mum is some kind of a Harry Potter geek.
Ok, that was a shameless lie.
She's THE Harry Potter geek. After she found out about my "other nature" and that I'm Harry Potter's niece, she started digging up information about our world. Soon, her research took a different curse and my uncle became the main target. Not saying I'm jealous. Just... It's a little embarrassing, don't you think?
But, don't get the wrong idea. My mum loves dad. Uncle Harry is just her "He's famous!" crush. Dad has them, too (I won't say who they are, though. I'm too ashamed to admit it.). Well, we all do, right? And it doesn't bother either of them.
I'm not saying it isn't bothering me, though! He is my uncle, after all.
"And you'll meet us at the King's Cross station on September the first, to say goodbye? Like always?" He gazes at dad.
They don't really have that family bond. Dad was busy trying to live his life the way he wanted. Not the way his parents imagined for him. It took away most of his energy. I know he regrets it.
It's not that they hate each other. Oh no. Nothing like that. But...
In dad's words: "I like him the way you like your neighbors. You do it because it's the right thing to do. Not because you know or love them for real."
That's why deep down, even though he doesn't show it (Mostly to tease mum.), he wants me to go to the Potters, too. He doesn't want me to end up like him. With so little real family and friends.
Dad shrugs. I guess this is his surrender. Thanks dad.
"All right, then..." Uncle Harry returns to stand by my side. "Are you ready?"
He takes my trunk and before I even manage to say bye to dad and mum, he apparates us away.
An awful, hard feeling takes over me, as if the air is trying to rip me apart. But fast enough, my feet hit the ground. And the Potter house stands before me in all of its glory.
I look at my uncle's glasses. And sure enough, they have a gap in them. Again. I suppress a smile.
My gaze then takes in the house.
It's big, but not pretentious. It consists of two floors, one of them being the ground floor, that is. Even from outside, it has that home quality to it.
Then, on the first floor balcony, a face shows. Lily Luna Potter's lips turn into a gigantic smile, as soon as she spots us. She then disappears into her room and I can hear her yelling inside, "Someone open the door!". So, aunt Ginny's genes have finally kicked in, I see. Heavens help me.
Just as uncle takes the lock, we hear a small click. The door slowly (Almost painfully so.) opens...
And, of course, from all the people, reveals my arch enemy. Why wouldn't it?
No, actually, it's not James Sirius Potter.
A sick, twisted smile spreads across his lips as he glances up at my face.
Everyone, meet Drake Faldo. THE bane of my existence.
Why did I pick Paris, again?
Chapter 2: Cousins And Their "Friends"
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A/N: Hey, thanks for the reads! But since this is my first story here, can you also drop a small review? It'd really help me.
In any case, enjoy the story!
Plus, I don't own the Harry Potter universe! Sadly. :(
Cousins And Their "Friends"
Drake Chilton Faldo. Just his name is over pretentious. Not to mention him. The way our first meeting went down, you'd never think we'd end up where we are now.
September the first, 2018
I was always the rational one. I still am. Really. But when I first got a glimpse of the Great Hall, I was positively impressed and taken over by my emotional side. It was bigger than any room I have ever been in. And it was... well, magical. The small candles flying near the ceiling and all the people looking at us first years did it for me. I felt short of air. And short of words. Which doesn't happen. Like, ever. Well, if you don't count Faldo. Which I don't. So you shouldn't either.
Soon, a very old looking lady stepped forward to the table where all the teachers were sitting. Albus told me her name, but I kind of forgot... Don't judge me! It's a weird name! Which... would make it easier to remember. 'Cause it's unique. Well, that works for normal people. You see, the day I found out I was a witch, was also the day I excepted (Or did I really?) I was not normal any more. I guess that's why I didn't want to remember.
"Dear students, the ones that are here for the first time and the ones that are returning, I would like to welcome you all to the Hogwarts school of..."
And she went on and on, until mentioning the hat. The sorting hat, to be exact. Now, that is completely ridiculous! I still think so.
All the first years came closer to the chair and waited patiently to hear their name. Well, not everyone was patient.
Roxy Weasley for sure wasn't. I met her at the station. Together with the rest of the Weasley clan. She seemed different, though. Now, as a rational person that I was and am, I thought it would be a perfect idea to avoid her. She looked scary! I'm not a brave person! When Albus told me about the four Hogwarts houses, I was sure about one thing. I was not going to end up in Gryffindor.
So, you see why I didn't want to have anything do to with her at first? No? She had short spiky hair which was somewhere between the colors of red and brown, she was wearing boys' clothes, a very dangerously looking necklace and a murderous look in her chocolate eyes. I had a feeling she wanted to kill us all, just because we took away her air or something... I was gulping the whole time.
But, (un)fortunately, she picked me. She wanted to be my friend. And as we started talking, I realized just how great our friendship would go with my "not normal" image now. Yeah, in the beginning, I just saw her as a way to be different myself. But pretty soon, she became a part of my life. A part I never wanted to lose.
"Merlin, this is boring. I don't know why everyone is so fascinated with the stupid hat! It's old, it's dirty and has a big mouth. I wouldn't exactly say those are good qualities." She mumbled crossing her arms.
I could tell, from even that moment-Roxy hated when someone else got the attention. As a person who was either invisible or called names, when someone actually decided to notice me, I found that to be odd. She was nothing like me. But that was exactly what I wanted.
"Dursley, Dora." I suddenly heard my name being called out.
It was when I was met with half a dozen of dark looks that I knew... I was going to have a hard time here.
It wasn't like I hadn't been used to it. But still. I was hoping.
One of the professors put the hat on my head and a voice rang through my ears.
"A Dursley? You’re new, I see. I never had a Dursley here."
This actually made me quite nervous.
"Oh, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean you don’t belong here. Now, let’s see... Hm... Where to put you? Well, not in Gryffindor, that’s for sure. And... no Hufflepuff. You’re largely a solitary type. But you’ll make friends, don’t worry. You’re ambitious, but... I don’t think cunning enough. I guess, that leaves just one..."
I gazed up at the blue-grey bunch and made my way to Albus, smiling happily. I guess that was really where I wanted to end up all along.
He was sitting with two other boys, a blond one and a brown-haired one. They were both gazing at me with their sets of blue eyes.
"I had a feeling it would be this way." Albus said smiling.
He then turned to his friends.
"Dora, these are my mates. Scorpius Malfoy and Drake Faldo."
The first boy seemed warm and relaxed, while the other looked a tad smug, but was smiling nonetheless. They both nodded their heads as a sign of saying hello.
"Dora Dursley. Nice to meet you." I greeted.
And that was it.
I returned to watching the ceremony and so did the boys.
As the sorting hat shouted "GRYFFINDOR'" at Roxy's name, my heart sank. I was sure I wouldn't be able to find yet another friend and one that was in my house, too.
Then, of course, along came Charlie. But that's another story.
So, you see, my first meeting with Faldo wasn't exactly hate at first sight. And in no way was it liking either. It was... nothing.
But that was about to change.
"Mr Potter, your wife is preparing lunch and wants to see you in the kitchen."
"Oh, thank you, Drake. I guess I better listen, right?"
"If I were you, I most certainly would." Faldo returns with an actual smile.
He then glances at me briefly, with those annoying baby-blues. "As for you, Blue... No, there are no cornflakes."
He smirks and vanishes inside, not even bothering to wait for an answer. I'm left staring after him with my mouth open. Again!
One of these days, I swear, I'm gonna, I'm gonna...
No, Dora, you're the rational one! The sane one. You're above this. Above Faldo. That's right. Just breathe.
I mean, I don't get it. How girls can like... This is beyond me.
Sure, he has dreamy eyes and nice hair. But there are so many boys out there with same physical traits and, what's more important, they are actually nice. Faldo, on the other hand...
Faldo has a whole list of annoying characteristics. Let's see...
1) He's honest. Now, before you go and correct me that this is actually a good thing, let me tell you... There is a fine line between being honest and being harsh. Drake Faldo is brutally honest and doesn't care about it either.
2) He thinks he's the smartest being alive. Yes, for the most part, he leaves me speechless and open-mouthed. But I blame it on his quick exits. He doesn't even wait for my answers!
3) He continues calling me Blue, even though I’ve asked him (Ok, maybe shouted at him.) to stop it, like hundreds of times. He says I always look pathetic and whiny and that's why he calls me that way. Now I'm even more determined to make him stop!
4) I don't know what his deal with girls is. They're drooling all over him and he just ignores the lot. I swear he stays single just to torture them. You know, like: "Look, I'd rather be single, than with any of you. 'Cause you’re all pathetic." The guy's a prick. But no, girls still drool over him. I really don't get it. Granted, he did have two girlfriends. But, only for a week or so. Jerk.
5) He thinks he's my therapist or something. Every time he sticks his nose in my things, he has a diagnosis for me. And I don't like them. Faldo is mean.
6) He's so sure of himself. He is TOO sure of himself. Doesn't he ever have doubts or anything?! It bugs me.
7) Also, Faldo seems to always be... right. There, I said it! I don't like the git, but he is rarely wrong. And that's a fact, unfortunately.
8) Faldo appears where and when I absolutely don’t want him! It almost looks like he's following me around all the time. Doesn't he have something better to do? Well, of course he has! Being Mr Perfect. So, why does he lose his precious time with me?!
9) He's just so annoying! And pretends whole the time. I'm sure he has layers and layers underneath what he actually shows. And I bet it's even ten times worse than this (shudders at the thought).
10) But the worst part in all this, though, is that he is so annoyingly popular and loved by almost everyone and for no good reason. Even though he's harsh, even though he's a smart-ass, even though he ignores people most of the time. I DON'T GET IT! What do they all see in him?! It drives me insane!
But the list actually goes on and on. I just... can't seem to remember it right now.
Uncle Harry and I finally get in the house ourselves. Suddenly, I hear someone running down the stairs. The next moment I am met, or rather, almost strangled with Lily's embrace.
"Dora! You're finally here! Thank Merlin! I thought I was going to transform into a boy, one of these days!"
When we part, I notice one thing. Ok, a few things.
Number one, Lily has grown... zero. She's still so petite. I guess she'll probably stay like this, or get some more height over the year. But I'm thinking-not much. After all, aunt Ginny is a small woman, too. I kind of wish I was a little less tall. I wish I was... Normal? No! Not normal! I did normal when I was younger and it didn't work out. I'm weird. That's my drift now. So... I like that I'm model-tall. Yeah. Right.
Number two, Lily looks... pretty. Is it just me or has she blossomed into a real beauty?
Number three, she has gotten louder. All this years, I have pegged Lily as the sweet one, the joyful one, the girly one. But she seems different now. More like Roxy. Tough. I guess it was inevitable, since she has two brothers and she's the youngest. She needs to be tough so she can keep up with them.
"Well, at least you're happy I'm here." I say grumpily.
"What are you talking about? We're all happy you're here."
"Minus James and Faldo. Not that I care for the second one."
"Dora," Uncle Harry looks at me warmly. "James is immature. I know-still. But don't worry. He'll grow up at some point. He's not Peter Pan, after all."
He winks at me and, after Lily kisses his cheek, he goes into the kitchen to meet his wife.
I turn to Lily. "So... what have those angels been up to?"
"James is spending his time at uncle George's shop, with Fred. It's his dream coming true, really. To think up pranks and jokes for a living." Lily rolls her eyes. "Albus is more absent-minded than ever. I talked to Scorpius about it and he thinks..."
"Scorpius is here too?!" I practically scream.
"And I thought you'd forget all about me."
I turn around to see Albus, Faldo and Scorpius walking down the stairs.
I trow myself in his arms and he stumbles backwards a little.
"I guess water runs thicker than blood in your case, Dora. " Albus smiles at me.
I go to hug him too.
"Shut up. You know I love you."
I take a step back to have a better look at them.
"You've grown, Dora." Scorpius mocks.
"She's practically a giant now." Faldo finds it appropriate to interfere.
Which it SO isn't.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
"I do appreciate your astonishing manners, Blue." he returns.
But before I can actually answer, my aunt yells from the kitchen. "Children! Lunch is ready!"
There you go. My poor ears.
"Mum, I'm not exactly hungry..." Lily begins but also doesn't get a chance to finish.
"You WILL come here and eat or, I swear, your dad and I will exchange our love VERY publicly. AGAIN!" She threatens.
Albus sends Lily a murderous look which means something along the lines of - "See what’ve you done now?!"
"Sorry." She mutters and we all make our way to the kitchen.
Their kitchen is a lot bigger than ours, yet not so... modern. But, that's exactly what gives it a more family-homey feel. I think it's my favourite room here.
Uncle Harry is already eating and smiles at us as we take our places.
But before I do so, aunt Ginny spots me and takes me in her embrace. I'm taller than her, but she is ten times stronger. It's kind of scary.
"Dora! You've gotten..."
"... So tall. I know." I smile at her and she returns the favor even brighter.
"Oh, I've bought your favourite cornflakes. Want some?"
I turn to Faldo with a sinister look and a self satisfied smirk attached to my lips.
"I'd love that."
He smirks back. Why do I feel like I've lost again? Because... I didn't! How does he do that?! He makes me feel even more miserable than I think I am. And believe me, that's a lot of misery.
"So, what's new with you, Dora?" Aunt Ginny asks.
I struggle to make something up because of my lack of social life.
But someone comes to my rescue.
Hedwig the second. I love that bird! She's so elegant and beautiful. Not to mention she just saved my arse.
Hedwig knocks on the kitchen window and uncle Harry gets up to open it for her. He gets the letters and rewards Hedwig with some food and a tender stroke. She then flies off.
"What is it, Harry?" Aunt asks.
Uncle smiles. "Hogwarts letters."
Scorpius and Albus share a quick look and get up to race to get their letters. I watch as Faldo gets up with no trace of excitement.
Is he even alive? Maybe he's some kind of a progressed ghost or something. No. Even ghosts have more emotions than him. I mean, have you ever seen Moaning Mirtle? Yeah, in her ugly crying time. Ok, she may be a special case, but still.
This doesn't mean I'm totally against Faldo, though. Al and Scorp are actually being a little immature, in my opinion. All right, they had their OWL's last year, but I don't get what all this fuss is about. They're great students. We all know that.
While the boys are reading their letters, uncle Harry gives ours to me and Lily. It's just a list of books, so we don't even bother to open them.
Al stops with the reading first and sighs happily. Scorpius has a big smile plastered on his face, while Faldo's is completely blank.
Maybe he got an E. Oh, how shocking!
"How is it?" Aunt questions even though it’s obviously good news.
"I have an O in Potions!" Al says enthusiastically. "Oh... And another one in Arithmancy. And all the others are E's!"
"That's great, Al!" Aunt Ginny kisses his forehead, while uncle Harry smiles proudly.
"What is it, Faldo? That bad?" I smirk, but he ignores me completely.
Typical. Fine. I don't care!
"Excuse me." He suddenly puts the letter on the table and leaves the kitchen.
Albus sighs and goes after him.
I pick up the letter and frown. What the...
"What is it?" Scorpius asks, confused.
"He has straight O's. And was made a Prefect. I don't get it."
What is up with that prick?
I look at Scorpius questionably. He shrugs.
So he doesn't know either. It's just Al, then.
But I don't care anyway.
"Hey!" Scorpius reads another peace of paper which he just noticed.
He picks his head up and smiles at me. "I've been named Quidditch Captain!"
I smile too and hug him. "That's great, Scorpius!"
"I didn't think I had a chance against Smith. But... there you go."
"You deserve it." Lily says.
And he does. Scorpius is a hard worker. He's always been. I guess he needed to be in order to become Scorpius Malfoy and stop being just "Draco Malfoy's son". Our similar background stories are actually one of the reasons I call him my best boy-friend.
It's not what you think, people! I'm not attracted to him in that way. I don't know why, though. Because... he's absolutely gorgeous, smart and interesting. I guess you can chalk it up to my weirdness.
"So..." Uncle Harry breaks an awfully long silence, which I, absorbed in my thoughts, didn't quite notice until now.
* * *
Lily and I sit by the lake, near their house, taking in the sight before us. The indigo sky mirrors itself in the clear water, together with a few stranded clouds. A warm breeze plays with the grass, making a melodic sound.
The sun feels great on my bare skin. I usually don't like to lie around in my bathing suit. But, I don't know, there's something great about this place.
I guess it's the absence of people. Or rather, a mass of people.
"Dora?" Lily asks still looking at the water and with her chin resting on her folded legs.
"Hm?" I return, feeling sleepy under the bright sun, and close my eyes.
"Did you ever... Er... I mean... Have you ever..." She stumbles.
I open my eyes and glance at her. She seems nervous.
"Don't be scared, Lily. Whatever it is... Just ask me."
She turns her burly brown eyes to my blue ones.
"Ok..." She relaxes a bit and takes a deep breath in. "Have you ever been in love?!"
She almost screams at me.
I blink. But when I process the question, anxiety kicks in.
Of course I've been in love. He was and still is my first... my only crush. But Lily can't know this. It was hard enough telling Charlie and Roxy, as it is.
I bite my lip and smile. "Of course I've been in love, Lily. Are you trying to say... Are you in love?"
"Oh, Merlin!" She covers her face with her hands.
I laugh and take them off, revealing a very red face underneath.
"Lily, it's ok."
"No, it's not! Not when he sees me as his sister!"
I frown. Who is she talking about? She must've noticed my confusion, because her next sentence is...
I let out an oh.
Lily looks horror struck. "Well, say something!"
It's actually weird in how similar situations we are.
"I don't know what." I say dumbly.
"I knew it! It's hopeless, isn't it?!" Lily cries out.
"Lily, I don't know. I mean, I've seen you interact with Lorcan just a couple of times. And, even then, I didn't pay enough attention to his behavior. It's hard to tell if it's hopeless or not. It's hard to tell anything." I shrug.
Lily nods slowly. "I guess you're right."
"But you can tell me." I smile in an attempt to cheer her up.
She laughs nervously and bites her lips. The blush comes back. But there's something else there, too. Lily looks... radiant.
"Well... Lorcan and I... We grew up together. We're all the same age, as you know-Hugo, Lysander, Alice, Lorcan and I. But the two of us... we were always a team. We always got paired up together against the other three. It was obviously all of my doing." Lily laughs and I join her. "We have a lot in common. And, of course, there are things that make us different. But to me, it was never that important. It was always about how his presence made me feel. And... as the years passed... I... Oh, Dora, I like him! He makes me feel breathless!"
Her words slowly go under my skin. Is she for real? It's unbelievable to me that she's just fourteen and a year (And a half!) younger than me. She seems older. Or am I that immature?
"Blue on the sun? This can't be for real."
I turn around already rolling my eyes.
Albus, Scorpius and, of course, Faldo near us. There is no trace of what happened yesterday on his face.
Maybe he's a robot from the future. Charlie would like this idea.
"Well, yes, Faldo I can enjoy the sun."
"Considering the fact that you're always ghost-pale, I'd say that doesn't occur often." He passes me by and starts to unbutton his shirt.
"What are you doing?!" I shriek insensately.
Come on, Dora. What could he be doing, really?
I sometimes don't understand myself. Not to mention others. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be human. Maybe a cat and I swapped bodies somehow, before we were even born.
The thoughts I have... I really am a freak, ain't I?
Actually... I prefer if you don't answer that. You know, just in case there still is some hope left for me. No matter how tiny it is.
"What? Don't tell me you have a phobia of male skin? Well... Now that I think about it, I don't recall any of your past boyfriends... Oh right. It's because you don't have any."
I open my mouth and stare at him for a moment. Or maybe a minute? Don't know.
In the meantime, he takes of his shirt.
Ok, I'll admit, he is kind of... you know... You know? No? Well... Erm... Hot.
I didn't say that! It was my subconscious drunk from the sun and the heat. It doesn't know any better right now!
He gives me another smirk and walks in, not even faltering at the touch of the cold water.
Albus suddenly pats my back.
"Don't listen to him."
"Well, I'd rather not! But, unfortunately, like all human beings... I have these things."
Al looks confused.
"Ears!" I shout.
Scorpius laughs, now undressing too.
"Chill is not half as bad as you think."
"Excuse me, have you heard what he just said? Or have you been daydreaming about Rose again?!"
Scorpius turns bright red and Albus and Lily laugh.
Faldo isn't close enough to hear us. Fine with me.
"Well, she's right, mate. You do that, a lot." Albus isn't even trying to cover up his laughter.
For a considerate freak, he hasn't been a lot helpful lately.
"Shut up." Scorpius mutters under his breath.
"But Dora's right about Faldo, too." Lily jumps in. "He's kind of... rude. Not to me precisely. But, you know..."
She shrugs. Thanks, Lily.
"He'll stop at some point, don't worry. You just need to be patient." Albus practically copies his dad's words.
He, together with a very unsettled Scorpius, goes into the water, too.
Patient? Excuse me, I have been patient! Don't the past four years ring any bells?! I will never understand why he's friends with that jerk.
"You wanna go in, too?" Lily asks, already a little sunburned.
"No, thanks. As long as Faldo's there, no!" I shout for him to hear me, but of course, he doesn't react.
I storm off to the house. I walk in, happy that I'll get some rest from the bane of my existence, when I bump into... Who else? The other bane of my existence, of course.
I pick my head up and our eyes meet for the first time after almost three months. And he was supposed to be sleeping over at his uncle George's! Now I'm convinced the universe has something against me. Not something, actually. Everything!
Why, oh why, did I pick Paris?! It wasn't even for a rational reason!
Am I having a nervous break down?
Chapter 3: What The...
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A/N: Thank you for the reads, guys!
I know the first two chapters are a little slow, but things will get more and more interesting as the story progresses. So, stick with me! ;)
As always, I would love if you could review, too!
Sorry for this long A/N. :/
I blink and find that I've been staring at the ceiling for quite a bit.
James raises his eyebrows.
Wait... What did he just call me?
"You've been looking at the ceiling for a minute now. I'm surprised there isn't a hole up there, by now."
"I'm sorry, what?"
"Dora..." He steps closer and looks me in the eyes. "We need to talk."
My heart starts to pound, as my eyes get lost into his chocolate ones. I feel a shiver going down my spine.
Is he really going to say it? Is he gonna say...
"James!" Aunt Ginny shrieks as she spots us in the hallway. "Thank Merlin! I need your help in the garden. Your dad's late and I have no clue where all the other boys went. They're probably hiding somewhere from me."
I try not to laugh.
Aunt Ginny loves to torture the boys with some garden work, from time to time. And she makes sure they don't use magic. She usually spares the girls. But Lily loves spending time there anyway.
Aunt Ginny then looks at me. "Oh, Dora! You're so red!"
At first, I don't understand what she means, but then I look at my arms.
I knew I didn't expose my body to the sun for a reason!
"Wait! I know exactly what you need to do!" She disappears into the kitchen.
James opens his mouth again, but aunt Ginny is already back, carrying...
"Yogurt? Mum?" James looks at her in disbelief.
I join him.
* * *
"I feel smelly!" I cry while laying on the extra bed that uncle Harry conjured in Lily's room.
It's a miracle it fits in, really.
"That's because you are." Lily laughs.
I trow a dirty look in her direction.
"I don't understand how you're not red anymore. I saw you burning up just hours ago!" I say and try not to touch any part of my yogurt-covered body.
"My skin is used to it by now. The red just turns into brown." She smiles sweetly.
Great. Even the sun hates me.
I look around the room.
I feel like an old person tied to her bed with nothing to do. And Lily looks like she's about to have a nap.
"Can I ask you a favour?" I gaze at her with my puppy-dog eyes and take the chance while I still can.
She gets up and laughs. "Sure. I guess you're kind of like a sick person right now. What do you want?"
"Thanks, Lily! Maybe something to read?" I suggest.
"We have 'Daily Prophet'." Lily shrugs.
"That'll do. You're the best!" I say as she gets up.
Lily smiles shaking her head in that 'Yeah, right!' way and goes downstairs.
That's when her eldest brother decides to enter her room. He was obviously waiting for his sister to leave.
He glances at me nervously. Or is it just my imagination?
"Dora, I... Oh, wow... It does smell." He takes a step back.
"It stinks, to be exact."
He actually laughs. Has he ever laughed with me and not at me?
I don't quite remember...
He sighs. "Should I come back later?"
"I think that would be for the best." I nod.
He does too and leaves the room.
Did I just have a chat with James Potter?
All this time I was sure I couldn't stand him for who he is and now... Now I wonder if it was just my hurt feelings, because he didn't accept me as his cousin.
I mean, when I think about it...
Do I even know who James really is?
No. He never let me find out. He has always shown this... offensive, harsh person to me.
But... Deep down, I've always known there is more to James Potter than that. Everyone knows it. I was just led into seeing him like this. I had no choice. To me, he has always been James Sirius Potter-the bully.
But if I come to know him truly...
Can I like him as a person? Can we actually get along? Can we get to a place where our love for each other isn't forced and is... genuine?
If all this time I was just hurt, does it mean that James' apology is all that I need for us to be an actual family?
Or are we going to end up as our dads? Just a pair of strangers with the same blood.
I almost jump at Lily's voice that wakes me up from my thoughts. She hands me the paper.
"Was James here? I just ran into him on the stairs."
"Yeah... He's calling me Dora now."
Lily smiles and frowns at the same time, as if not quite believing what she's hearing. "Really?"
She sits on her bed. "I guess dad's right, then. Maybe James is finally growing up. But honestly, though... I think that deep down you're his favourite cousin. He's just been jealous of your coolness."
I raise my eyebrow. "That must be way deep, then."
Lily chucles and sighs as she stretches across her bed.
I open the paper.
When I read the 'Daily Prophet', I usually first do so with aunt Ginny's Quidditch column. I follow the tradition once again.
At once, the headline catches my attention.
Receaves A Golden Snitch For Life Achievement
"Hey, Faldo's dad got a Golden Snitch." I mutter, confused.
"Really?" Lily walks over to me to look at the article. "Wow! That's so cool!"
I wonder if Junior heard about this.
He is so weird.
* * *
Ok, I'll admit. With all these great things happening to Faldo, I'm curious as to why he's so... off.
As I finish my shower, I go to Al's room to talk to him. And try dig something up. It's not like I have anything better to do, anyway.
Plus, Lily is fast asleep. I'm bored.
Al's room is bigger than Lily's. That allows it to take in three beds. The color of green is everywhere. And, sure enough, I spot my favourite part of his room. A board above his bed that contains all of his dearest memories. There's also a picture of us two hanged there.
As I glance at the whole room, I find that there is only one person in it. And that he's packing.
"You going somewhere?" I smile at Scorpius.
He smiles back at me.
"Well I am, actually. Dad and mum want us to visit aunt Daphne last minute before Hogwarts, so..."
I make a sad face.
"Oh, come on, Dee. Just admit that you can't wait for me to go."
I embrace him. "You're an arse."
As we part I take a look at Faldo's bed and take the chance to bring him up.
"Faldo's dad got a Golden Snitch. Did you know that?"
"You serious? That's great! Man, Chill has the best Quidditch genes."
"Can't wait to see those again." I say sarcastically.
I never watch Quidditch. And especially not Faldo playing it. Even though I've heard he makes quite a show.
"Actually, Chill won't be in the team anymore." Scorpius says while folding a pair of jeans.
"Thank Havens, you decided to trow him out!"
"No." Scorpius fixates his gaze on me. "It was him. He wants to drop out."
I must say, this takes me by surprise. I thought he was more than quite fond of the sport.
"Yeah." Scorpius nods. "The team was not happy, to say the least."
What is this all about?
Faldo himself walks in and ends my line of thoughts.
"Blue, how's the sunburn?" He smiles.
I rose my shirt, way up to my bra, and show him exactly how the sunburn is doing.
He looks a little startled. Even Scorpius is quiet.
"You just saw it for yourself. Now, stop asking me about it! Scorpius..."
"Come by later. I want to talk to you about something."
And I leave the room, ignoring the boys' confused looks.
* * *
As Lily is in the garden helping James and her mother and two of The Tree Pigs, aka Al and Faldo, have vanished Heavens know where, Scorp and I sit in Al's room again.
I look at our picture. It was taken in this same house two years ago, during my third visit here. The picture shows us playing chess in the living room downstairs. Al is smirking because he was winning at that moment. But I still won the match in the end. Ah, sweet revenge. A small smile finds it's way to my lips.
"So, what did you want to talk about, Dee?" Scorpius sits on his bed.
I join him. Our eyes meet. Blue on blue.
"First, you have to swear you won't tell ANYONE what I asked you. Oh, and that you won't make fun of me because of it." I have the most serious, a little murderous, look on my face.
Roxy would be proud.
"I swear!" Scorpius lifts his hand up, even though I can tell he's trying hard not to laugh.
I'm relaxed. Totally.
"Alright... Scorp, you're a guy..."
"Obviously." He raises his eyebrows smugly.
"Weeeell..." I tease him.
He doesn't look happy.
I take a deep breath in. "I want to know... what can I do to make a guy like me? I mean, what attracts you?"
Scorpius smiles at me in that big brother way, like he can't believe I'm finally asking him the question.
Don't get me wrong. Scorpius is very perceptive. It's only when it comes to matters of the heart that he doesn't notice things.
For example, we all knew long before he did that he likes Rose. It's the most obvious thing. That's why he never had a girlfriend. He's been in love with Rose ever since he started noticing girls as... well, girls. But he never had the courage to tell her.
You may think... Well, she must've noticed he likes her, at least. But, no. This is actually a 'quality' she shares with Scorpius. She hasn't got a clue he likes her. You have to tell her what you really feel. And Dorian Thomas was the first to do so.
But don't think that Rose hates Scorp. In spite all of her dad's warnings, she doesn't give her everything to avoid him.
Although, they're not exacty friends either. I think, to her, he's just her cousin's best friend.
And it kills Scorpius.
He's stuck in between.
That's another thing Scorpius and I have in common. Unrequited love. The ugliest thing the universe has ever come up with. It should be baned. Don't you think?
"Oh, Dora, that's a complicated question."
I sigh, disappointed.
"Every guy's different." Scorpius cuts in. "I'm sorry. I can't really help you, unless you tell me who it is that you like."
Scorpius watches me intently. I know he's waiting to see if I'm going to tell him my secret. Tell him the name.
But I can't do that. I love Scorpius as an older brother, but I just can't tell him. Or maybe that's exactly why I can't.
Scorpius notices my expression. He accepts it by slighly nodding his head.
"Just tell me what you like." I plead.
"Well..." Scorpius frowns. " I ... I like long hair..."
"Your hair is fine."
"Why, thank you." I pretend that I'm surprised.
Scorp rolls his eyes at my sillyness, but continues nonetheless. "I like curls... curly hair. I like smart girls... funny girls..."
"Ok, now you're just describing Rose, aren't you?"
"Sorry." He smiles apologetically.
I sigh. "We really are hopeless, aren't we?"
As it proves to be a rhetorical question, Scrop and I share a depressed look and sigh in unison.
He is never going to fall for me. Even if he takes his eyes of Dawn Young for a moment, I'm sure he'll be looking in another direction. One that doesn't include me.
Do I purposely fall for guys I can't have? Although, he is the only one. There are no guys.
But... If so, what does it mean?
* * *
James and I don't really get the chance to talk that day.
When aunt Ginny walks back in the house, it is clear that she's upset. She avoids to look anyone in the eyes.
Even though we're all siting in the living room, she escapes to the kitchen. Actually, I suppose that's the reason why she does it.
"What's going on?" I ask Lily while James joins Al, Scorp and Faldo in playing Magic poker ( Which I just can't seem to understand. What? Don't look at me like that! It is way more complicated than muggle poker. ).
It is clear they're all absent minded, though.
Lily sighs. "It's dad. Look how late it is. And he still hasn't showed up."
She's right. It's almost midnight now.
And then it hits me.
An unnerving feeling awakes from the bottom of my stomach.
"It happens, you know." Lily explains, but I can hear her voice trembling. "Once in a week. And if we're lucky, once in a month. He is an Auror, after all. Mum tries to have an optimistic face. But in the end, it gets to her. It gets to all of us."
I know he's an Auror. But it's just something you go with. You don't think about it.
Until something like this happens.
And it scares me. My dad's a chef. And I still worry from time to time... The oven can explode or... Yeah, I know it's silly. But it can still happen. I try not to think about it.
It's not easy.
"It must suck being his daughter sometimes." I say, a little shaken.
"Yeah... But I wouldn't have another dad even if he was Merlin himself."
I smile at her and nod my head slightly.
I know what she means. I guess we're here where we are for a reason. Even though I don't believe in fate, it... kind of makes sense.
Suddenly, a crash.
We all stand up, startled. Aunt Ginny runs out of the kitchen.
For a moment, a very long moment may I add, nobody moves.
Then, the door gets open. I don't really see anything because aunt launches herself on someone. I suspect it's uncle Harry. I only hear. And I hear her scream. Yell. And then sob.
It is uncle Harry.
Aunt Ginny mumbles something between her cries. It sounds suspiciously like 'jerk' and 'idiot'.
They finally move from the door into the living room with us.
James, Al and Lily greet their father by hugging him and so do I.
That's when I see he has a black eye.
"Rough day?" James asks.
"Well, you should see your uncle Ron. I'm so glad I'm not him. Hermione is scary when she's angry."
"Yeah. And mum clearly isn't." Al adds.
And then, finally, we all laugh. Even aunt Ginny through her tears.
I can feel part of the tension melt. But, it isn't gone completely.
Uncle Harry turns to his wife and kisses her passionately on the lips. James, Al and Lily make squeamish noises while the rest of us cheer.
When they break up, aunt Ginny picks her index finger up. "Don't think that one little kiss will make things right."
"Fair enough." Uncle then smiles. "But, how about two? Or three? Maybe hundreds?"
He starts kissing her again and she laughs.
I love these two. It's like they still have a trace of teenage love in their relationship.
Mum and dad are a little different. They usually have this banter thing going on in front of people. But on countless occasions when they thought I wasn't looking, I have caught them being gentle and in love with each other. It's... sweet.
Don't tell them I said that!
* * *
Usually, when something like this happens, I start reflecting on my life. On life in general. How fragile it is.
But this time around, I'm just too tired.
The moment my head touches the soft fabric of the pillow, it floats into an unknown world.
Here I am. Walking down the street. Or is it a corridor? Not sure.
Darkness, sneaking around like a careful thief prepared to attack me, surrounds my body, my vision, my senses.
Then, a pair of hands block my sight entirely. A voice follows. But I'm not afraid. Nor surprised.
A crooked smile lands on my lips.
"Just a little more." He says.
"What are you doing?"
My voice doesn't show fear. Nor annoyance. But entertainment.
He leans in from behind me and I can feel his lips now almost pressed on my right ear.
"It's a surprise."
I laugh. "I hate surprises."
"Do you even know what hate really is, Dora?"
The way he says my name sends shivers throughout my body.
"Just let me guide you." He whispers.
And I do.
Minutes pass as he now holds one palm over my eyes and the other on my back, making me blush.
Finally, he anounces that we are there.
He puts his hand down and I gasp.
In front of my eyes, towering over the whole city, lit with milions of lights, is the Eiffel Tower.
The moon looks down from it's height, jealous because of all the beauty and the attention the Tower gets.
I turn around, short of words. He simply smiles, brushing my cheek with his fingers, looking in my eyes in a way I can't even belive is real.
"How did you know?" I manage to utter.
He leans in, inches away from my lips that yern, need his like a newborn child needs his mother's arms.
"I saw it in your dreams."
When our lips meet, I swear, a firework flies into the sky, shreding it's wild colors, and blows up above Paris.
Above the Eiffel Tower.
And I know.
I've simply always known it would be this way...
I straighten myself up, completely lost. I look around.
The familiar silver and purple objects... The poster of Saimon Reese hanging above her bed... The big mirror across it...
Yep. I'm still in Lily's room.
It was only a dream... Like always.
When it happened for the first time, I was eleven. It was shortly after I found out I was a witch. In all those days of confusion and almost agony, this dream was something that lit up my nights.
It looked real. It felt real. It still does.
But, like then, I can't seem to remember his face when I wake up. It's unusual, I know. But it's also true. I only remember the gliter in his look, the joy in his voice, the love in his touch.
Alright! I'm officaly busted.
Yes, this is the real reason why I want to go to Paris so desperatelly. And yes, it is rather stupid. I know.
This is also the reason why I ran off when Tate Carrington tried to kiss me once. And it's not just about him. I think this dream is the reason why I don't let ANYONE kiss me. I just...
I want to go to Paris. I want to... What? Seek my destiny?
I don't believe in destiny. I don't believe in dreams coming true like this. It would mean believing in visions. And I'm not Charlie. I don't do that. I'm rational.
But even so... Something, almost a voice in my head, always stopped me from kissing anyone. Or rather, from kissing Tate.
It's like... It was whispering constantly:
"You know this is not it, Dora. You know."
And I knew. I've always known.
I need therapy.
"Is it possible that you're sleeping with your eyes open now?"
I focus my attention on the owner of the voice.
"Bingo!" He snorts.
"What time is it?" I rub my eyes sleepily.
"It's... early. Listen, my dad's outside waiting for me. I thought we could say goodbye to each other before I go."
"Oh, of course."
We hug briefly. Lily is fast asleep.
"See you at Hogwarts, Dee. Oh, and be nice to Chill."
"You should rather suggest that to him."
Scorpius smirks and whispers. "You two have no idea how annoying you are, do you?"
I frown. "Isn't your dad waiting? By the way, why are you leaving so early in the morning?"
"Dad doesn't really want to confront Mr Potter." Scorpius explains.
"Yeah, I know." He laughs quietly. "Maybe I should just marry Lily over there and make them get along better."
"Well, Mr Weasley is an even bigger challenge." I wink.
Scorpius blushes furiously.
"You are an arse!"
"I know you adore me." I send him a kiss.
I punch him in his arm.
He laughs again and, with another 'bye', exits Lily's room without waking her.
I fall back into my bed wondering about family and its ties.
My dad was acting similar to Draco Malfoy before. He and uncle Harry were on letter terms. They didn't really see each other. I think dad was too angry with himself about his behaviour towards uncle Harry and he couldn't look him in the eyes. But when the 'bottle incident' happened, he had to.
I get up and walk to Lily's balcony.
Scorpius and his dad greet each other. There is no hug or a kiss, rather a nod.
I know Scorpius wishes their relationship was more warm. His face when uncle Harry embraces Al... It hurts me to see him like that.
He says Mr Malfoy isn't that bad. He just... isn't used to showing his emotions.
Mr Draco holds out his hand and Scorpius takes it. And in a split of a second, they vanish, leaving the emerald grass perfectly still and lonely yet again.
I lie back into my bad.
Should family matter that much? But who are we without it?
Although, even with a great family like mine, I still don't have a clue who I am. And that can be a slightly big problem. Don't you think?
* * *
Lily and I watch Al and Faldo play Quidditch. Lily is great at it too. But being the sweetheart she is, she doesn't leave me alone.
I know, I know, I'm going against my nature here. But it was either this or watching a game with aunt Ginny. And when she does that...
Let's just say the bruises on my left hand didn't appear by themself two years ago.
Damn, Faldo is good. I was hoping it was just a rumor. You know, fan-girls exaggareting.
He sure enjoys it for someone who quitted the team. I mean, it's obvious he loves to play. So, why quit in the first place?
I already miss Scorpius. Even though it's been just a few days since le left.
I love my family. But, Scorpius is my family too. Why did he have to leave?
I'm rabbling. Sorry.
Actually... this is my head. I can think whatever I please. So, bear with it!
James startles me when he speaks from behind me. "Dora, a letter came for you."
I get it from him. He looks at me significantly.
We still haven't talked.
Maybe it's better we do it at Hogwarts. We're going there in two days, anyway.
I open the letter.
You little slime!
Why didn’t you tell me you’re with Potters right now? I could’ve stoped by. Unless you’re avoiding me... Nah. I’m great. Why would you want that, right? RIGHT? Oh, I can’t wait to see you tomorrow at the Diagon Alley. So I can beat you up for this! Looking forward to that!
Roxy, the best!
I laugh as I finish it.
She really is great.
Roxy is tough. But not emotionless. On the contrary. Her toughness is actually her way of expressing her feelings. Or protecting them.
But it's usually anger. I guess that's why people are a little afraid of her.
James eyes me. "Can we talk now?"
I look back at Lily. She just shruges.
Yay, thanks for the support, dear cousin!
After a few seconds of hesitation, I finally decide to follow him.
James and I get out of their sight. We walk in silence until we reach a tree.
It feels nice, pressureless. But I know, the moment James starts to talk, it will go back to major awkward.
We sit under the tree, covered in a thick shadow. I look at the ground, pretending that the grass is suddenly very appealing and interesting. Even though a huge worm is trying to slip into a hole right in front of me.
I swallow a big amount of saliva and fear that I may somehow choke on it.
Well, I was Hitler, you know. I sure as hell deserve it. At least Charlie would approve. Of me being Hitler. Not the choking part! She is not that weird!
I feel like I'm having an out of body experience.
"Look... I... I know, ok. I know."
I look at him blankly.
He sighs. "I'm a jerk."
I stare at him.
"So you agree?"
Well, what does he want me to say?
"It's ok, it's ok. Because... you're right. I am a jerk. An imbecile, idiot, prick, whatever you want."
I cross my arms. I'm actually enjoying this conversation. Who knew, right?
James runs his fingers trough his thick hair. "I... I judged you because of your surname. Because of your dad. And not knowing, I became what I so despised."
And just then... My heart starts to pound a little too hard. I feel panicked.
"It's true. I tortuted you just like your father did to mine. And I feel so stupid for being so bloody blind!"
"It's all my fault!" He suddenly breaks down.
I can see his chin trembling and his eyes taking a darker shade of brown. "It's my fault you now hate me. And I can't even hold it against you. 'Cause, you have the right to. In the end, I hated you too..."
"James!" I yell, feeling like someone is ripping my heart out and walking all over it.
And I realize, it's James. And it hurts. Again.
"Stop!" I shriek feeling like I'm about to fall apart.
He looks at me with wide eyes, fear clearly dancing in his look.
I breath in, my voice now broken. "I don't... hate you."
"You... you don't?" He looks unsure if he should believe me.
I shake my head. "No. I just... just conviced myself I do. But when I think about it... It doesn't make sense. I'm just hurt."
He gazes at me looking guilt-consumed and takes my hand. I decide not to move. At least for now.
"Dora... I'm so... so sorry." He finally utters the words I wanted to hear all along.
From the day he first insulted and attacked me to this moment. But now that I have heard it...
"It's not enough."
I catch a trace of depression and desperation in his look.
"What do you want me to do? Just say! I'll do it!"
I take my hand back. I see it affects James, as he looks even more desperate.
"I... I don't know, James. I mean, look at us. We're talking about hate here. And we're supposed to be cousins! Does that sound right to you?"
"I know you're sorry. I can see it. But I wonder if the damage is just too big..."
"I want you back as my cousin." He mumbles, shaking.
I put my palm on his cheek and smile. "James, don't be silly. You never had me in the first place."
And I know. I hit him hard. His look is lifeless, his breath cold.
I get up. He catches my hand.
"Dora, please... Just... give me a chance! Be a better person than I am. Please. Please let us start over again."
I gaze at him for a moment.
Have you ever had a feeling that you're doing something right even though everything inside of you screams it's wrong?
This is one of those moments. When all of my arguments fall down and I only see a person who's deeply sorry. A being who wants a second chance. My cousin. My blood. And maybe someday... even my family.
James pleads with his hand still attached to mine.
"James... if... if you want us to one day be a real family and not just strangers... Try to become a part of my life. And let me be a part of yours. Just... let me in."
He now seems hopefull.
"But... I can't forgive you. Not now. It wouldn't be honest. You have to earn my forgiveness. And my trust."
He nods. "I know, Dora. And believe me, you've already done enough."
I turn to leave.
But before I can do so, James yells after me. "Dora!"
I take one more look at him.
"Thanks." He says through a light smile that graces his face and makes him look more human and close to me than ever before.
I nod my head and finally leave.
But as I near Lily again, a small smile climbes up to my lips and makes me think that my life as a punching bag is at last coming to its end.
That everything will finally fall into its rightfull place...
And then Faldo hits me with a Quaffle.
Well, it has to be yin and yang, right?
Chapter 4: Crushes Versus Stalkers
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A/N: Just wanted to thank you all for your lovely reviews. It really helps. So keep them comin'! :)
Crushes Versus Stalkers
We travel by Floo Powder.
Uncle and aunt say it's easier for us children. I guess they're right. I don't really dig the whole apparation thing. But Floo isn't really a great way to travel either. I always end up with my face down. Or under something.
We all gather around the fireplace.
With the Potters, the youngest always goes first. So Lily steps in the fireplace. She takes a little powder and yells ( She so resembles her mother right now! ): "Diagon Alley!"
I'm the second in line. As I scream out the same name, I see the familiar faces vanish. Instead of them, the next thing I see is...
Well, no suprise there.
I moan while Lily helps me get up to my feet. Then I realize that we are standing in a very, very small corridor.
"We should move. Or this will get way too crowded."
As soon as I say this, I feel something hitting my head.
And... once again, I'm laying on the ground. But this time on my back.
When I open my eyes I find out that, in fact, it's not something that hit me. It's someone.
And, of course, that someone has to be Faldo.
He lies on top of me.
Lily starts to laugh. But just then, Albus appears and almost hits her. Unlike me, though, she has great reflexes. Well, good for her!
Al turns around and spots Faldo on top of me.
"Er... What are you..."
Then, even James shows up. After he straightens himself he also takes a puzzled look at us.
It's then I realize that things have definitively gotten out of control.
"Faldo, get up already!"
"Why don't you do that?!" He still finds it appropriate to argue with me over stupid and meaningless things.
"Because you're on top!"
"So what?! You want to be on top?!"
"Just get off!"
When he does that, I glance at my cousins, completely embarrassed.
And, sure enough, they are all laughing hysterically.
That's when aunt Ginny shows up.
The laughter immediately dies out. But from the corner of my eye, I still see Lily covering her mouth so she doesn't burst.
I glance at Faldo. His hair is all messed up and he seems a bit flushed.
"I hope they forget this as fast as we will."
He shakes his head. "I don't think that'll happen, Blue."
"Great." I say frustrated. "Now people will get the wrong idea."
"And what's that?"
"That we tend to lie on each other."
Faldo gives me a highly odd look.
Wait a minute...
What did I just say?!
"I mean... ! Oh, just forget what I said!"
"You know, Blue, for a Ravenclaw you sure let your mouth do the job more than your brain far too often."
I open my mouth just when the last Potter arrives.
"We're all here and nobody's missing body parts, if that's what you mean." James informs him.
"Apparently, I'm missing my brain!" I trow a dirty look in Faldo’s direction.
"Don’t be such a cry-baby, Blue." Faldo rolls his eyes.
"Excuse me? I'm a cry-baby?!"
"Well, you do whine a lot."
I turn around and a familiar smile makes my miserable day better instantly.
I run to her and we do our special hand shake.
Roxy doesn't really hug people. Or rather, people are afraid she'll crush them in the attempt. I know how they feel. First hand experience. Or should I say-first hug experience? Huh! I'm so witty!
"Man, Dee, you haven't changed a bit."
And she hasn't either. Still has the wild short hair ( Looks messier than ever. Maybe uncle Harry and Roxy can form a club. 'Messy hair owners and lovers'. ), the slightly evil smirk and look in her deep eyes, still wears her baggy clothes and seems a bit dangerous.
"No, wait! You did grow a little." Roxy correts herself.
"I'm sick off it, really."
"I like tall girls." She encourages.
Soon, all the other Weasleys, aka the Redhead bunch, fill the street and the greeting begins.
And somewhere squeezed between Victoire's husband to be and the business-freak that Dominique is ( I assume they are here to do some Lupin-Weasley wedding-shopping. ), there, with his face washed with the morning sun, stands he.
Roxy notices my look and smirks.
"Hey, Louis! Have you seen Dee's new hair-cut?!" She yells at her cousin before I can stop her madness.
"Roxy!" I hit her in her arm. "What are you doing?! I don't have a new hair-cut!"
"Trust me, guys don’t notice those things." Roxy says confidently.
I hit her again. "He's coming over here! What do I do?!"
"Just relax, you know. Chill."
Great. Now I'm reminded of that jerk Faldo.
He's talking to Dominique. I always thought he had a crush on her. Even though she's three years older.
Uh-oh. Call back to reality!
I try to smile, but I have a feeling it comes of as this weird 'advertisement for toothpaste' pose.
"How was your summer?" He asks politely.
"It was ok. Yours?" My voice crackes.
I'm a natural.
Disaster, that is.
He smiles a bit wider, revealing his sets of pearly white teeth beneath those perfectly full, plump lips. Louis' hair is always magically sticking up ( Hey... maybe it really is by magic! Duh!), resembling a golden waterfall. If I could just touch it...
"And that's all, I guess." He finishes and puts his hands in the pockets of his leather jacket.
Fred then joins us but just to drag Louis off to show him 'something unbelievable'. I suspect it's a new WWW product.
I know, it couldn't be more complicated.
I'm in love with my cousins' cousin.
I hate my life.
When the Weasleys and Potters shop together, it's kind of like the Beatles just showed up. People around them get excited.
Sometimes it can be scary. Really scary.
In the middle of the hustle that suddenly forms, I feel Roxy pulling me away from everyone in an unknown direction.
I do know where we're headed.
( No )Wood's Quidditch Store.
Roxy is so predictable.
The shop looks basically the same like all the previous years. The small show case with all the brooms, the golden name plaque and the famliliar smiling face inside makes me think that I have visited this shop more than I would actually like. Since, you know, I hate Qudditch and all.
As alway, when we enter, Miss Foster waves at us.
"Hi, Miss Foster!" We answer in unison.
"Oh, no." She smiles softly like she always does. "I'm no longer a 'Miss'."
She lifts her hand up and shows us a beautiful golden ring.
"Oh, wow, that's great." I beam at her.
Roxy, in turn, crosses her arms tightly.
"You betrayed me, Miss Foster. I thought we were in this together."
In case you’re wondering, 'this' is Roxy's number one life rule.
She says only a few of them are decent people but that number is so small, she doesn't even bother mentioning it.
Yes, my friends are weird. I think we already established that.
Miss Foster laughs.
"I'm sorry, Roxy."
You see, Miss Foster ( I really should ask her what her new surname is. ) was not willingly a 'No boys!' girl ( A fact that Roxy chooses to ignore. ). There was just a very long period of time during which she didn't date. There was never a good opportunity.
But I guess she finally found it.
"So, who is he?" I'm curious.
Or maybe just a know-it-all wannabe.
Ex-Miss Foster glows. She actually glows.
I never saw her like this.
Not even during the 'sexy stranger' phase.
"Well, I went to visit my sister back in late September last year. One day, I took my niece to school. And... there he was."
"In her school? What..."
"He's a teacher there." She looks at us unsure of how we'll react. "He teaches History."
"Are you saying... He's a muggle?" Roxy looks at her puzzled.
"Oh, I know!" Roxy exclaims fiercely. "He asked to have a look at your mole!"
I frown at her, confused.
"Hugo made me watch muggle films this summer." She explains while shuddering.
I roll my eyes.
"No, it was nothing like that!" Ex-Miss Foster says. "He reacted in the best way possible, actually. He... accepted me."
She smiles contently.
"Then I guess I wish you all the best, Mrs... Er..."
"Finn." She finishes happily.
It's moments like these that allure me into believing that love isn't just a myth. It's something real. Possibly the only thing that makes you happy even when you're havng the most miserable day of your life. Man, I really need this love thingy. Havens knows I have plenty of misery.
Just then, Roxy's all time hero enters the room.
Mr Oliver Wood, world's greatest Keeper and a Quidditch God. Well, at least according to Roxy. And the sexiest Qudditch dad, according to Witch Weekly.
But really, for a man in his... How old is he again? Never mind. What I'm trying to say is... Mr Wood does look good in a sweater.
"M-M-Mr Wood!" Roxy gapes at him.
The Qudditch God himself laughs. "Roxy, for the last time, call me Oliver."
Roxy's face goes major pale. "I can't do that, sir. It would be a disgrace to your name if a simple Hogwarts student called you that way."
Oh, dear What-ever-your-name-is! Please, stop this! For Roxy's sake!
Alright, for mine too.
Mr Wood smirks.
"Dad, have you seen..."
We turn to the door to spot Owen coming out of their storage room at the back. Owen, as in Oliver Wood's son and Charlie's one year older brother, Owen. He has the same hair Charlie has-dirty blond and deep brown eyes that are scanning us at the moment.
"Hi girls..." He looks at me confused. "Dora, um... Not to be rude but... What are you doing here?"
"Roxy dragged me in." I expain simply.
"I thought it was something like that." He nods his head and then glances at Roxy. "And you, Roxy?"
"I want your new Silver Storm, of course!" She exclaims. "Want to be prepared for the new season! And the tryouts. Since I didn't get named Captain... But whatever, you know?"
"Um..." Owen shifts in his spot uneasy. "I... I need to tell you something."
Roxy's face perks up at him. "What?"
"I... I'm the new Captain."
Then, the most awful silence falls upon us.
Until Roxy wakes up from her one minute shock-trance.
"Well, that's ok. I guess."
Owen and I both stare at her.
Quidditch is her life. This type of reaction was fiction in my mind.
But I guess it helps that it's Owen. He is one of the few boys Roxy actually tolerates. Not likes. Just... Doesn't hate his guts. Which makes Owen one of the luckiest male students at Hogwarts. I don't know if he even realizes this.
"You will make me your Beater, right? I mean, let us look at the facts. I am the best you can get."
Owen smiles and comes closer to put a hand on her right shoulder. He is taller than she is. But not too much. He is just a little taller than I am. But considering the fact that, for a girl, I'm freakishly tall, it's a good height.
"Roxy, don't panic. I'm sure you'll get the spot."
With that he turns to his father. "See you in a minute? I need to ask you something."
His dad smiles in response.
Owen than waves at us and vanishes through the door leaving us in another quietude. Luckily, it lasts just for a few seconds.
"I'm not panicking!" Yells Roxy only to be met with dead air.
Mr Oliver smiles sweetly at her and decides to give her some good old Wood advice. Which I hear are pretty... well, awesome. Even if you're not exactly the biggest Quidditch fan out there.
"Roxy, loving Quidditch is great. But don't let it become an obsession. There are so many other things and people out there that need your attention too. Don't forget that."
He winks at her and after saying 'goodbye' follows his son to the storage room.
Roxy opens her mouth.
Here it comes.
"Oh my Wood!"
Hey, maybe Mr Oliver really succeed into making her see reason.
"Where's a pen when you need one!? I have to write this down!"
Well, I guess I really don't have the right to expect from her to suddenly be a little more sane. I'm in the same boat as Roxy is, anyway.
"This goes way up with his 'Love the Earth' speech!" Roxy finally finds a pen and makes me conjure a notebook for her. Creating stuff from thin air is kind of my speciality. And Roxy tends to overuse this fact.
Wondering about the 'Love the Earth' speech? Probably not. But since it's such an awesome story I just need to tell you this.
So, let's go a pair of decades back.
Oliver Wood was at the fragile start of his Quidditch career. He was playing in a new, young team which he and his former Gryffindor team mates formed, called 'The Roaring Lions'. Yeah, they were not the most imaginative group.
Oliver really needed to focus on his game if he ever wanted to succeed.
But everything he ever believed in, his dreams, his whole world were questioned the moment he met her. Charis Adlard.
Now, I was told that Oliver was the Quidditch maniac. That's why this story is even more special.
Charis was a Hogwarts graduate with only one goal. Protecting Mother Earth. She wasn't exactly a hippy either. Wasn't about the peace. What she wanted, she would get it. No matter what it took.
And so, as Oliver's team was young and this particular game was open for everyone to attend, Charis took the opportunity. And, oh boy, did she take it.
In their time out she crashed their dressing rooms screaming like a banshee and kicking whom ever she could. She cursed them for using trees for their 'stupid little meaningless toys'. Aka, brooms.
Needless to say, this really pissed off Oliver's team mates. But he... He just stood there as the security guards took Charis away, completely elated and lost.
And so, the quest to Charis' heart began. It wasn't really an easy way. As a tree killer, he was her number one enemy. She refused to ever see him again. But Oliver was persistent in making her fall in love with him. After a few failed attempts at getting her to have a drink with him and her last words that summer, 'Stop using a live being as your toy. If you do that, I may actually consider speaking to you again.', Oliver retired. Everyone in their team was shocked. But, Oliver didn't let that get to him. He had a plan. And a good one, too.
A year later, this shop, '(No) Wood's Quidditch Store' emerged from practically nothing. At first, it really didn't get Oliver anywhere. But after a few rough months, the timing was right for his life to change completely.
He tracked Charis down ( Who was living with the Aborigines at the time. ) and asked her out again. The gesture deeply touched her. But she didn't let be amazed that easly. Still, they became friends and started working together.
And then one day, one historical day, after Oliver formed a new team which only used his brooms that weren't made from real wood and after the said team won, he made a speech.
The 'Love the Earth' speech.
Now, I could tell you that people just loved him after that day, with the crowd going positively wild. But it would be a lie. And, in the end, it didn't matter. 'Cause the one person he wished for, finally did start loving him.
As for the shop, it took five more years for it to become a real success. And to this day, it still is one of a kind.
Don't we all wish for a love story like that? I mean, seriously. Gah, some people are just so damn lucky.
After Mrs Finn finishes packing Roxy's new broom, we say goodbye ( I wish her luck in her marriage, while Roxy stresses out how disappointed she is. Again. ) and hit the road.
"This is the best day ever!" Roxy sighes contently.
I roll my eyes. "Roxy, please."
She trows a dark look in my direction that shuts me up.
That is, until we spot Louis again.
In front of the Leaky Cauldron.
Smiling the brightest smile I ever saw on him.
Holding hands with his girlfriend.
Roxy stares at him with shock first then at me with a mixture of fear and sorrow.
"Let's go somewhere else." I manage to utter as I twirl around to go in the opposite direction.
Roxy runs after me.
"You can't back down from a game only because one obstacle's standing in your way. If anything, it will make for a bigger challenge. And a bigger reward." She pats my back.
I turn around furiously and she almost crashes into me. I scan her face frowning.
"You did not just quote a Quidditch player!"
She swallows hard and smiles uneasy putting on her 'I'm innocent!' face. But she's not really good at playing an angel. When you're the devil, it's obvious why.
I let out a frustrated scream and continue pacing down the street, nearing Flourish and Blotts.
"Oh, come on! Why not quote them?! It can so be adapted to any real life situation!" She shouts behind me.
"Not now, Roxy! Just let me go for a minute! Meet you at the Leaky later on!"
Roxy shrugs deciding, and wisely so, to leave me alone.
When I fall into this mood, it's a good choice not to bother me. I love my friends and my family. But there are just those moments when I need to be by myself. And this one... It sure as hell qualifies as one of them.
I take a turn into one deserted corridor, breathing heavily. My heart aches. My whole body seems to be falling apart. I crawl down, leaning against the wall that feels suitably cold.
It's not like I never see him with Dawn. Actually, there are just a few times I don't do so. But I hoped that today was gonna to be that day. Of course, I was wrong.
Why do I keep doing this to myself?
It would be so much easier for me to back up and be with Tate instead.
But I can't. And I don't know why.
It's like all this pain is a drug for my body. A drug I'm so depending on, that if it were to be taken away from me, I feel I'd die.
I sit on the ground, my breath still caught up in my throat. I flick my wand and a group of beautiful indigo butterflies appears in front of me. I stretch out my palm and one of them flies down on it. I try to smile, but all that I manage is a shudder.
"So even your magically summoned butterflies are blue. See, there really is something to your nickname."
I lift my face only to be seen by Faldo, the prat.
I immediately hide it with a hand, trying hard not to let a single tear slip away.
"What do you want?"
He sits next to me. And it actually amazes me that I don't feel the urge to move away.
I glance at him while he looks somewhere in front of himself, face completely blank. This amazes me even more. His robot-like nature.
Who is this guy? I never really wanted to know. But suddenly I almost need to.
"I don't know."
I frown and gaze at him longer than I thought I ever would want to.
And then, just for a brief moment... I see it.
An emotion that is filled with confusion, regret and maybe even sorrow. It shocks me in that measure that I almost pat his shoulder. Almost.
Faldo turns to look me in the eyes. And for the first time I have ever known him, he seems so close and so... human.
I have this strange sense of recognition that I never, ever imagined I'd feel with him.
It is even more peculiar as I haven't felt this with anyone else.
So... I chalk it up to my craziness of the moment. Well, what else can I do? I mean, it's Faldo.
It must be my fuzzy brain imagining things.
"Dora, for the love of who ever you please, man up and stop sobbing!"
Aaaand... he's back.
"Wha-?! I don't... I'm not... sobbing."
"I beg to differ." He rolls his eyes.
"Argh! Can you for once speak as a normal teenager and not as my father?! No, wait. As my grandfather! And stop telling me what I need to do! I know that well on my own!" I stand up, even flipping my hair dramatically, only to leave Faldo behind and, I hope, gaping.
What I don't know is that Faldo is not gaping at all. But he has a small smile plastered on his annoyingly handsome face as he watches me walk away.
* * *
The King's Cross station has never been this crowded. Then again, it is all the Potters and Weasleys at one place. It is fated to be crowded. Heh. Charlie would like my choice of words. And sure enough, moments later even the Scamanders and Longbottoms show up. And I feel like there is no air left for me to breath in.
Then, somewhere near the platform number nine I spot my parents waving at me. Mum's wearing her infamous yellow skirt and a white top, while dad is in his brown suit. I wonder, more than sometimes, how do these two ever get along.
"Dora!" Mum hugs me tightly as I grasp for air.
Then it's dad's turn.
At the same time, he and uncle Harry share a look. I know that look. It's the 'This is absolutely not awkward. At all.' look. It saddens me that they can't talk like a real family. Not even as friends.
I glance at James who nods his head at me.
I realize I wanted this all along. An opportunity to make things right. Luckily, James finally gave me one. I smile at him.
"So, be good, Dora." Mum almost sobs.
No wonder I'm so whinny.
"Mum, I'm not twelve. Please, stop."
They both pull me in a group hug and I laugh in spite of myself.
"I'll miss you, guys." I say sincerely.
After some more sobbing, we finally part.
I find Roxy and we go through the nine and three quarters barrier together, ending up mixed in a crowd of Hogwarts students.
Roxy and I stay together pushing forward to the train. Of course, people are getting out of our way which makes it so much easier. I swear, having Roxy as a friend is so rewarding.
We slide down the passage, nearing the one compartment we always sit in. As we stand in front of the entrance, I can see the familiar figure loom up through the glass.
Roxy and I grin at each other.
We then rush inside, almost knocking each other down and exclaim at the same time: "Lee!"
A medium tall dirty-blond haired girl with funny looking braids in her hair and green feathers for earings, looks up from her copy of 'Foretell Your Future'. Her burly brown eyes glow as she sees us.
She then gets up from her seat only to almost strangle us with her embrace.
"Easy, Lee!" I succeed to mutter.
She finally lets us go and stares at us with her hands on her hips. Then, she gasps.
"You bought a new broom!" She points her finger at Roxy.
Then she turns to me. "And you found a boyfriend!"
I shift uncomfortably. Why do I, though? It's not like a have a secret lover waiting for me at Hogwarts. Ok, it could be Tate. But, I'm not going to be his girlfriend. The guy's too nice to be corupted and hurt by my oh so glorious self.
Please note the sarcasm.
Roxy snorts. "I wrote you that I'll buy a new broom. That is hardly being sighted."
Charlie frowns and decides to turn to me again. "How about you, Dora?"
"Please! If I ever get a boyfriend, trust me, it will be the news of the year. I'll make sure everyone knows it." I finish smugly.
Charlie smiles. "See, I knew you'd say that!"
"That's only because Dora is so predictable." Roxy fills in and ignores my hurt 'Hey!' in the proces. "For the last time, Lee, you're not a damn Seer!"
Charlie tries to say something but Roxy cuts her off again. "And you're not from the future either!"
Charlie pouts her mouth and crosses her arms, before sticking her toung out at Roxy.
"Dear Havens, will you two ever stop fighting?" I roll my eyes.
"Will you ever tolerate Faldo?" Roxy shoots back.
Ok, it's not that they dislike each other. Roxy and Charlie are just too different. But being so stubborn, they wanted to try and be friends no matter how many disagreements they have.
Roxy is the ultimate skeptic.
Charlie is the ultimate believer.
I'm somewhere in between.
After the argument finally heats down, Charlie goes on to tell us about her crazy adventures, mother and daughter style.
Since Charlie became nine, she started following her mother on her trips. And, of course, she had a blast. Occasionally, even the Scamanders would join them. Her dad, too. But Owen mostly liked staying out of it. And who can blame him? You really need to have a stomach for adventures like those.
"So, we took the monkey-poo and..."
"Dear Harpies! Stop it already!" Roxy looks as ready as ever to puke.
I laugh and Charlie just seems disappointed.
At that point, some random blondish girl flies into our compartment gasping heavily.
"Quick! Going to meet the Prefects!"
And just like that, she storms out.
"Wow. How weird was that?" I snort.
It's then that I realize the girl was not the only one who ran off.
Roxy and I share a look before it hits us at the same moment.
We go outside as a group of squealing girls gathers around the Prefects and Head's compartment. And, sure enough, Charlie is the loudest one among them.
But they all fall into a silence as the hottest Puff strolls down the passage. He has it all-tall, dark, handsome, kind. And, of course, a girlfriend. Well, what do you expect?
The boy's a reborn Greek God.
Why are the hottest never single?
Oh, just forget what I asked.
Faldo? Seriously? That guy doesn't count. He's a robot.
Charlie makes her way through the crowd landing right in front of Sam.
"Oh, Lee. Hi."
Yes, he does know her name.
According to Charlie they grew up together. He was her first kiss. But she just didn't grasp at the potential he had. And now she's the foundress of his fan club 'Hey! We love Sam K.' ( Yeah, deeply and utterly pathetic. ). Way to go, Charlie.
"How was yor summer?" She smiles in that freakish way of hers.
"Fine, I guess. Yours?"
Charlie moves up to his ears and whispers something only for him to hear.
When they part, Lee has a slightly evil grin on her lips and Sam actually blushes!
That girl is amazing! Remind me why I ever doubt her sanity!
Right... the whole future and/or Seer thing. Let's just pretend I never asked you the question in the first place.
Roxy pops in between them and takes Charlie's hand, dragging her with her.
"Sorry, Sam! Charlie needs to go!"
Charlie struggles to free herself but Roxy is still the stronger one. She almost trows her back on the seat.
"What are you doing?!" Charlie doesn't look happy.
I step aside. This ain't gonna be pretty.
"Do you even realize how pathetic you are?! The guy has a girlfriend!"
"So does Louis! But you still encourage Dora to 'go for it'!" She dons the air quotes.
Hm, good point.
As Roxy and Lee are at the prime of their staring contest, a knock interups them. We all take an instant look at the door. And I can swear that all the blood from Roxy's face vanishes in a second, like a vampire just sucked it out from her.
Ew, gross mental image!
"Oh, would you look at that! It's is you, Roxy. I was just passing by and I wondered if you still sit here every year. I guess now I know."
Oscar McLaggen. Roxy's personal stalker, as she likes to call him. In reality, it's not that big of a deal. Roxy just can't stand guys. That's her problem. Or again, as she likes to call it, her gift to be the only sane female creature around. Up until now Oscar was her Quidditch team mate and the only 'thing' she doesn't like about the sport. The fact that she has to play alongside such 'morons'. Why 'up until now'? Roxy sincerely hopes that Oscar has hit his expiration date concerning Quidditch. But judging by his buffed body, that's hardly the case.
"McLaggen, can you not see I'm busy?!" Roxy simply twirls around to glare at Lee again.
"I just wanted to ask you if you want to train for the tryouts with me?"
And the stretching begins.
Yup, that's right.
Oscar has this weird habit of constantly stretching his body when he's around Roxy. I don't know if it's some kind of a regressive way to show just how manly and tough he is. In any case, it's humorous to all of us. Except, of course, to Roxy.
She averts her gaze from Charlie to Oscar only to look at him like he's some kind of an insect that she can tramp any minute if she wishes. And I'm sure she does now too.
"I train alone."
"I was just..."
"For Quaffel's sake, McLaggen! Don't you have something better to do than to nag me?!"
Lee and I stare at Roxy.
Maybe, just maybe, she has overdone it this time. I'm already playing out a scene in my head where Oscar falls to the ground crushed by Roxy's cold declination.
But Oscar doesn't seem offended. On the contrary. A creepy smile crosses his face which suddenly lights up.
"You're such a fire, Roxy! But don't worry, I don't mind getting burned."
With that he winks at her, leaving the compartment with three utterly stunned girls gazing after him. Maybe Roxy's stalker theory isn't so far off as I think.
"You can say whatever you want about him, but Oscar is a tough player." I mutter.
Lee nods her head in agreement.
"How come you didn't see this idiot on his way to here?" Roxy snorts at Charlie.
"I can't choose what I See." Charlie crosses her arms tightly. "But... maybe I did See it. Just didn't want to tell you anyway."
Roxy lets out a frustrated scream and almost trows herself at Lee. Thankfully, I react in time casting a rushed Protego.
"Dora! Stop that! I need to smack Lee over her head! It'll be the last time, I promise."
"Hey!" Lee yelps. "Dora, don't listen to her. You know it's a lie! You don't need to be sighted like me to know that she'll break her promise as soon as she can."
I look at them, irritated. I feel like I'm babysitting some annoying five year olds. Seriously? I don't even like children! Not at this point in my life, anyway.
I try to concentrate over my friends' shrieks but it's not easy. Especially with a voice like Roxy's. She can tear apart Hogwarts screaming at it, I'm sure. She just needs to get angry enough.
I'm suddenly smitten with tension searching for a harmless way out.
Lucky for me, someone unintentionaly comes to my rescue.
"Students, put on your uniforms! We're nearing Hogwarts!" We hear a male voice echoing outside.
And, hey, it actually sounds familiar!
Moments later, moments in which my Progeto starts to loose it's strength against Roxy and Lee's combined ones, a boy shows up in front of our compartment.
Wait a minute...
Wearing a... Is that a Prefect badge? Huh? Have I missed something?
Meanwhile, Al raises his eyebrow at the scene before him. I gesticulate for him to quickly enter. It's apparent that he does it with slight hesitation.
Albus has been in situations like these before with the three of us. I don't think he has fond memories of them.
But nevertheless he comes in, breaks the spell and sits between Roxy and Charlie, pining Roxy to the seat. It barely holds. But even that is a success with Roxy.
"Why don't you tell that to her?!"
Albus follows her accusing finger that is pointed at Charlie.
She sits laid back, smirking.
"Um... Because you're the one screaming and kicking like a wild child?" Albus offers.
"Urgh! Fine! But you should know she's not an angel eighter."
Charlie makes her look appear even more innocent.
Man, she's not just good. She's a freakin' genius!
A moment passes in which Roxy's still breathing too deep and Lee's smirking too wide.
But then slowly the air cools down.
"Are we all calm now?" Albus looks at us unsure.
The three of us all respond with a mutter.
"Good. I don't want you to fight any more. Are we clear?"
"Excellent!" He smiles contenly and changes the topic immediately probably to take advantage of the hard won truce. "Anyway... You guys having a nice trip?"
"You're not carrying that around just as a joke, are you?" I glance at him confused showing to his bagde and totally not answering his question.
What? It intrigues me! I am a Ravenclaw, after all.
"Albus, the Prefect. I knew all along it'd be this way." Charlie nods her head putting on that wise look she so trained for.
Albus laughs. "No, this is not a joke."
"Ok... Don't get me wrong, as I find this to be a more reasonable option. But... Isn't Faldo supposed to be wearing that and shoving it in our faces?"
"Yeah, he was. Funny thing, though. He quit." Albus shrugs. "And as I had rancked just below him, I'm now the Ravenclaw Prefect."
Again, what the...
"I'm channeling some weird things here." Charlie shakes her head with worry.
Roxy rolls her eyes at her.
She does that a lot.
"I... I can't tell you. It's private." Albus looks uncomfortable.
"Oh, Al." I smile. "You shouldn't have said that."
Fear twinkles in his amazingly emerald eyes. "What do you mean?"
I smirk evilly.
"Shh! I need to think!"
Roxy and Al share a meaningful gaze. While Charlie's watching me intently as I run over my thoughs.
Just what are you up to now?
A/N: Sooo, what do you think? Do you like Roxy? What about Charlie? Which male character that appears for the first time ( Oscar, Owen, Sam and Louis ) is your favourite? Also, I don't want you to think that Roxy and Charlie hate each other. As you can see, they are just very different. And, actually, their relationship is based on my friends' relationship ( They are sisters. ). They shout at each other all the time. But, at the same time, they adore each other. :) Tell me what you think! And sorry for this long note. :(
Chapter 5: Start With A Bang
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A/N: Hi, my lovely readers! So! Things are starting to heat up for Dora! You'll see what I mean. IF you read on. ;) So be my guest.
Start With A Bang
Finally, we're here.
It feels like coming from one home to another.
Except for the annoying teachers ( Not all of them. Still, it's a big number. ), annoying James fans that glare at me as if I chopped his head of even though we're cousins, and, of course, Faldo. The annoyance at it's worst. Or should I say best?
Ah, Hogwarts, how I love thee.
Of course, people don't have a clue that James and I made truce.
And if it's going to be anything like the previous years, I may as well learn some more advanced spells and jinxes. There's this one I read about in...
"Dora! Will you quit daydreaming? Saint Quidditch, you need to stop that! It creeps me out." Roxy shivers.
"She's obviously a highly reflective person. Something you'd not understand even if we wrote it down for you in Quidditch code language." Lee smirks.
"Oh! Imagine if there really was a Quidditch code language!" Roxy squeals.
I know. It must be doomsday.
The Great Hall pulls me in like every year with it's shining candles, wild house colors and, of course, the food.
What? Did you expect me to say people? I'm not a people-girl, remember?
Roxy, Charlie and I make our way to the Ravenclaw table, closely followed by Al, a slightly darker skinned Scorpius and Faldo.
We usually don't sit together as Faldo and I tend to ruin everyone's meal with our bickering.
But I guess they're finally ready to take that risk again.
It's not entirely my fault. Just because Faldo's slightly attractive doesn't mean he can get away with things more than I can.
We all sit down taking our usual spots and wait for McGonagall to hold her traditional speech. I know it by heart at this point.
Apart from some deviations every year, the speech doesn't really change. So it's hard not to remember it.
I glance at Faldo. Not surprised, I realize he has spaced out.
"So what's your deal, Faldo?"
He blinks and stares at me. "What?"
Albus shakes his head at me as a warning to quit it.
The hell I will! It eats me up! I need to know!
"Oh, come on! You know what I mean."
"Why did you quit the team? And why did you give up your Prefect title?" I put on my best Hercule Poirot face to provoke him to talk.
He just sighs and ignores me by turning to Albus. "Al.."
"I'm sorry! It's her look! I swear! She can dig out whatever crosses her twisted mind!"
That's not nice.
Wait... actually, it kind of is.
I'm persuasive. Hm... I like that. I'm sure I can make good use of this newly discovered trait.
"And she would've find out that I'm the Prefect eventually." Al adds.
I open my mouth to grace them all with a witty comment but the Headmistress takes away my spotlight.
"Dear students, I would like to welcome you all to Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. To you first years I'd like to say not to worry as Hogwarts is not a prison at all. It's your home."
"She's obviously never tried being a Dursley here." I snort but someone from behind hushes me.
I start to twirl around when Roxy stops me glaring that scary 'Quit it!' look of hers. Well, all of her looks are somewhat scary. But, you know.
"To the ones that are returning I just want to wish a successful year." It seems as if she's about to sit down.
But then all of a sudden she jolts again. "Oh, and James Potter, stay away from Mr Filch's cat."
Everyone turns to look at James.
He smiles a smile that shows he's not exactly appreciating the attention.
Contrary to popular belief, James isn't an attention freak like Roxy. Well, not as much, that's for sure. He just gets himself into these situations that attract a lot of people. And him being the son of Harry Potter doesn't help either.
"Now let us enjoy the meal!"
With that Headmistress McGonagall sits down smiling and the always deliciously looking food fills the tables.
Everyone grabs as much food as they can so they don't have to be stuck with something they don't like.
For me, the pumpkin pie beats everything else.
Obviously, Charlie snatched the chocolate pudding.
But don't worry. The awesome food didn't make me forget about Faldo.
Well ok, only for a minute.
Don't blame me! It's really tasty.
"So, Faldo. You never answered my question." I eye him.
"And you know why?" He gazes at me meaningfully.
Oh, this is so exciting!
He leans in and takes a deep breath.
"Because... I don't want to."
He smirks and returns to eating his mashed potatoes with fish sticks. Even his food is all healthy and perfect.
I hate it.
"You have to!"
"Blue, find someone else to interrogate. I'm not interested."
I scan his face. I almost see a trace of tension on it.
"I see. You're scared."
He rolls his eyes. "Blue..."
"What are you up to? Just tell me!"
"Oh, for Snitch's sake! I knew this wasn't a good idea!" Roxy yells at the two of us.
We immediately shut up.
It's her voice. It's like some kind of an unbeatable weapon.
"Don't worry, Roxy. There will come a time when these two will tolerate each other. I just know it." Charlie smiles.
"Not likely." Faldo and I exclaim at the same time.
I glare at him. He glares back.
Wow. I kind of...
No! No, no, no! Bad brain!
You do not enjoy arguing with him! It's what annoys you.
Havens! Even my own brain is against me.
After finishing dinner we all go to settle down in our rooms.
Charlie and I unwillingly part ways with Roxy. It's moments like these I hate the sorting hat the most.
The rest of our walk flies by in my nagging of Faldo to tell me his secret.
"No! For the last time, Blue, stop it! I won't answer even if you strip for me!"
At the moment that this particular sentence is said, Al, Faldo, Scorp, Charlie and I are in the middle of the Ravenclaw common room.
Naturally, everyone's staring at us.
Faldo fires up. "See what you've done! I'm starting to talk like you!"
"Excuse me! I never said I wanted you to strip for me!"
"No, you just said that we 'tend to lie on each other'!"
I gasp. "Faldo! It wasn't intentional and you know it! I wouldn't 'lie' on you even if you were..."
And just like that a blurred image of Louis pops into my head.
Closely followed by my recurring dream with the 'It's a surprise.' echoing throughout my mind.
I never saw it like that before. It's all fuzzy and intertwined.
And for a moment, I feel like it's more real than Faldo standing right in front of...
Suddenly I come back to reality only to realize that Faldo has vanished.
How long have I been spaced out?
"Wow, Dee. That wasn't nice." Scorpius says in a low voice.
I see that everyone around us agrees as they are death-glaring at me.
Well, nothing new.
I sigh. "What can I do? Every time we talk I just want to... I want to..."
"Be his friend?" Charlie fills in, hopeful.
We all look at her shaking our heads.
"No? Well it was worth trying." She shrugs.
All the while through my little outburst a girl sitting at the back watches intently.
Thinking just one thing.
"Please, Merlin, let him fall in love with me."
* * *
Charlie and I make ourselves comfortable in our dormitory.
I missed it. I really have. The calming blue walls ( I know. It's like 'blue' is something that's permanently attached to me and follows me around. ), the glorious window view right next to my bed, the window sill where I have sat through many of my confusing nights, the big 'Animals' World' poster on my closet, the small night stand where I'm just putting my favourite pictures, framed and all, and the bathroom that always has hot water. I missed it all.
It's strange. People here tend to think that I'm some kind of a monster. But I still love being at Hogwarts.
Does that make me a masochist?
While I'm putting my clothes in the closet, one of our room mates comes in. And thankfully, it's the likable one.
"Hi, Dora! Charlie!" She smiles brightly at us.
"Hello, Ophelia." We return.
Ophelia Norton. Possibly the most lovable girl at Hogwarts. Charlie says she's the nicer and prettier version of me. Naturally, I punch her arm every time she does.
But there's no denying it. We really do look alike. Only, her hair is not as curled as mine, she's shorter and, well... bubbly.
In short, Charlie's right. Even though I hate to admit it.
"You guys ready for the OWL's? It's gonna be dreadful. Well, that's what Marilyn keeps telling me, anyway."
My eye twitches. My pulls speeds up. My anger's on a verge to make me explode right here, right now.
"Don't listen to Marilyn. She's a b-"
"What Dora's trying to say!" Lee interferes and glares at me so I don't say that word. "Is that Marilyn's just trying to frighten you."
"And I read every single fifth year book. You know, just in case."
We all automatically turn to the door.
Oh, the horror.
The hell girl herself turns from her friend ( Hell girl Junior. That's all you need to know about her, really. ) and smirks upon seeing me.
Now that right there is one thing I didn't miss.
"Well, well, if it isn't Dursley?" She pronounces my name the way she always does.
"Got a problem with that... Gold?"
Yes, her surname is Gold. I know, right?
"I've got a problem, yes. If the school allows the brat of Dursley to attend then it may as well let muggles come here too." Her dark look glow evilly.
My eye twitches even more.
It's not that she's only a problem of mine. She's the school's "journalist". It's the way she likes to call herself. To the rest of the world, she's a younger and prettier ( Yes, I can admit it. ) version of Rita Sceeter.
"I don't know what's worse, to be honest. Having you around or that Death Eater's son, Malfoy."
And that's when everything goes black.
At least in my mind.
I don't even remember how I earned the black eye. What I do remember though is how Marilyn got hers.
And it was one hell of a punch.
Is it too late for me to still try and convince people that I'm rational?
Yeah... I king of figured.
* * *
"This is outrageous, Miss Dursley! It's the first day. The first day!"
I sit in Professor Lonbottom's office taking in all the yelling as it comes. Not in a good way, though. I tend to burst in these kind of situations.
"You didn't hear what she said, Professor! She insulted me! And Scorpius Malfoy, too!" I feel the tears cluster in the corners of my eyes.
Professor Neville is the Deputy Headmaster.
The poor guy's usually the one who gets to deal with stuff like these. I assume he doesn't like it that much. But life's a bitch ( There, I said it! ). What're you gonna do?
He sighs looking worn out. "Dora, no matter what she said... It was a bad choice to respond with violence. I hope you know that."
He gazes at me beneath his bushy eyebrows.
I hate that look. It makes me feel all wrong and stupid for what I've done. I guess that's exactly what he's aiming at.
"I know." I mutter examining the floor.
He sighs again. "Dora, come on. You're better than this."
My head jerks slightly. "What if I'm not?"
He studies my face intertwining his fingers and putting his hands on the desk. "Why would you say that?"
"Look at my father." I raise my voice. "Half of his life he was a bully and... I'm afraid... What if that's all I'm meant be too?"
With the last word my voice drops, reveling my most hidden fear.
I don't think about it all the time. But... I still do.
I know dad has changed. But what if I can't avoid it?
What if I end up just the way he started?
'Cause I really feel I'm getting worse with each year.
Professor Neville takes a deep breath before speaking. "Dora, you just said it. It's your father. Not you."
"I don't know that. I don't know anything." I take a look at the floor once again.
"It's all right to be confused. You're just fifteen, for Merlin's sake. I didn't have a clue who I was at that age either."
The thought comforts me. But it doesn't take away my fear. It's there. Like it awaits to eat me up. To my bones.
"What if I never figure it out?" I pick my head up trembling. "What if I stay stuck with this image that's so attached to me? What if I never run away from it?"
"That right there is your problem, Dora." He pats the desk with his hand.
He does that when he's besotted and enthusiastic about a subject being discussed. In this case, me.
"You always run. If you want something, you need to fight for it."
It's not like I don't know that. But... "It's hard."
He nods. "I know. But I'm sure you have it in you. I have faith in you, Dora. I believe you'll do great things in your future. If you only stop running."
"Really?" A slight smile escapes my lips.
I know it sounds silly. But since Professor Neville and I had our share of meetings ( Usually because of the same reason, over and over again. ), I came to like him.
Not just like him, actually.
I don't know. I feel... He's some kind of a mentor to me.
And hearing him say that he sees great things in my future.
It... it means something.
It means a lot.
He gazes at me painfully. "It's difficult seeing you so insecure."
"When so many people seem to hate me... It's hard not to be."
"You know what your other problem is, Dora?" His eyes glisten knowingly. " You've fallen into this loop. You mistrust people 'cause they hurt you. Now, you want them to stop. But... they won't. Not unless you begin trusting them again."
I glance at him, amazed at his ability to dig so deep into me. "What if it's not worth it?"
"It's always worth it. Animals are not enough, Dora. I know I said it's ok that you love them. I love my plants, too. But, there's a line. You can't replace human beings with animals. People need other people, Dora. And you... You need to open up to them."
I don't even realize that I have a few tears running down my cheeks.
Wow. I didn't know a simple punch could trigger so many hidden emotions.
I turn my head to the side so I'm not facing Professor Neville. I don't want him to see me broken. I don't want anyone to see me like this.
He stands up from his chair, goes around his desk and stops above me. He crouches so his eyes level mine.
I try to look away again.
He doesn't let me.
"Stop seeing yourself as a victim of your dad's mistakes. 'Cause that's what your doing right now."
I look into his burly eyes full of wisdom. Of care. Of love.
I take a deep breath and close my eyes for a second. When I open them, I finally see it.
He nods his head, sadness twinkling in his gaze.
"I don't want you to feel this way, Dora. Do what I said. Share. So people can move on from the image that is so attached to you. If you keep these fears inside for too long... It'll kill you."
That's it. Now I'm officially sobbing.
Professor Neville puts a hand on my shoulder.
He then stands up and goes to sit on his chair.
I lift myself up, feeling empty.
Our eyes meet again.
"Have You ever been scared?"
He looks confused. "Of course. Why?"
"'Cause than You'll understand that all this that You just said... Everything... It's really, really hard to do. I feel... paralyzed."
"I need time."
He smiles at me. "I respect that. I just hope that you won't run forever. And don't make that excuse about not having Gryffindors' bravery."
Hey! Am I an open book or something? How does he know I do that?
He laughs, obviously reading my mind.
I manage to smile too.
"As for your punishment, you'll be cleaning Professor Slughorn's potion bottles tomorrow after classes. And the day after tomorrow. Actually, the whole month."
Crap. I kind of hoped he forgot about that.
I nod my head and leave his office feeling completely emotionally spent.
Oh my Havens!
Did I just tell him all of that?
I can't breath!
I'm not good at sharing my feelings.
I run amok to the nearest toilet, feeling like someone's crushing my lungs.
Professor Neville's words are haunting me. Pressing my chest. And I can't breath.
It's always like this when I try to share my feelings. It's as if I'm breaking my heart into these small pieces and giving them away. Without the hope that I'll ever get them back.
Have you ever felt like that?
* * *
I finally make my way to the dormitory. But before I go in, I catch a glimpse of Faldo leaving the common room.
Now, it wouldn't be anything unusual. If it wasn't so late. Also, he looks too sneaky for it to be a simple walk.
Against any better judgment, I decide to follow him and have a little fun.
Don't hate me. I'm having a really hard day here.
Surprisingly, he leads us to the Room of Requirement.
I stand behind the nearest wall and watch him marsh in front of the massive door three times.
After it gets open, Faldo slides in. Of course, he first checks if anyone's following him. I smirk to myself when I stay unnoticed.
I play with the idea to come closer and try hearing something. But just for a second.
I'm not Marilyn, after all. That much, I know.
What is astonishing to me, I have a great sleep that night. And the dream just makes it better.
Unlike this morning, though, I don't see Louis' face intertwined with the dream figure.
He's just as unknown as usual. But in a strange way, that comforts me.
And I seriously don't have a clue why.
I'm so weird sometimes.
But aren't we all, really?
* * *
The next day as the classes start, it feels more homey to me. Being here, that is.
I know, who likes going to classes?
Apparently, the new Dora does. Hey, maybe this self-discovery thing isn't that bad!
Of course, I'm still not opening up to people.
But I have time. It's not like I'm not used to being seen as I am now.
All right, that's my exact problem to begin with.
Don't judge me! Please?
As we pace to the Great Hall after a horrid History of Magic class, Charlie and I meet up with Roxy. She's all about trowing insults at McLaggen after he tried to "woo" her again. Not those really bad ones. Still, it doesn't sit right with Lee.
She doesn't swear. Or, rather, she tries not to.
As the two of them are again lost in an endless discussion, I take a look at the toilet that we are just passing.
I suddenly feel a great urge to be alone again.
It happens all of the time, to be sincere.
I know, I know. I shouldn't run.
But just this one more time! I need to!
"Hey! Am... I'm gonna go... to the loo."
"Why?" Roxy eyes me suspiciously.
"'Cause she needs to pee?" Charlie snorts. "Seriously, Roxy. Use your brain. You do have it. Even if you are in Gryffindor."
"Lee, if you say a thing about my intelligence again, I'll..."
I slowly leave the pair as they continue to walk and argue, happy that their differences always help me get away unnoticed.
I open the door relieved that I'll be alone for a moment.
But as I enter the toilet, it is clear I won't have any alone time soon.
Standing loosely leaning against the wall is Alice, Professor Neville's daughter and Lily's best friend.
Before I know it, she shrieks and starts falling down. It all happens slow. Yet too fast.
Gratefully, I'm able to catch her midst air.
He face is pale and her eyes shut but I can feel she's still breathing.
Then suddenly she looks at me grabbing the end of my robe. It's a stern, dark look with almost no life in it.
At that moment, she speaks. But it's not her usual sweet, joyful voice.
"When the sun falls down
And the dark comes in
It will take away a soul
That breaths within."
She collapses in my arms and I realize she's not there anymore.
Panic fills my every pore as I remember to use my wand.
Her tiny body raises up and I fly her to the hospital wing, all the way on a verge to cry.
This is too much to handle in two days! I'm not a robot! Unlike some others.
I crash into the hospital wing.
Mrs Adams, the new nurse, looks up at us, gasping.
She rushes over and we put Alice on an empty bed near the window.
"I don't know! I went to the toilet and she just passed out before my eyes!"
"All right. Move, Miss Dursley! You can't help her more than you already have."
I stumble backwards, shaking.
I can't do this!
I run outside, tears filling my eyes.
I pace through the corridors, my feet taking me in the direction of our common room instinctively.
But just as I'm about to leave one corridor and enter another, someone stops me.
He takes my hand and pulls me toward him.
"Dora, are you all right? What happened?"
Louis gazes at me brushing my cheek carefully.
I trow myself at him not thinking straight.
He wraps his arms around me.
The warmth of his body is suiting. And it calms me down for a moment.
But I still feel Alice's lifeless look consuming me. Like it wants to suck out my soul.
What was she talking about?
What was that?
After a moment, Louis speaks again. "You're shaking. Let me take you to the hospital wing..."
"No!" I wince.
He looks confused.
"Sorry." I breath out. "I'm fine. I'm... It's ok. Really..."
"Dora, you're rambling. What's wrong?"
I bite my lip. I want to tell him. And professor Neville's words play in the back of my mind, pushing me to do it.
But something's holding me back.
"It's... nothing. Really. I'm fine."
"If you say that again, maybe I'll start believing you." He smirks.
I laugh. "It's nothing to worry about. But thanks."
I turn to leave but he pulls me by my palm again, his blue eyes absorbing me into their depths.
"Dora, next time... Just try to trust me."
With that he walks away.
I stare after him, feeling lost, confused and completely hollow.
Oh, I see.
This fifth year is going to be the end of me.
* * *
The rest of the day passes in my silence. I don't speak to anyone. Don't even answer to Marilyin's pre-sleep insulting. Seriously, even a black eye can't stop that girl. I'm starting to wonder if anything can.
But when the first sparkle of dark lights up the sky, I decide to visit Alice.
With the initial shock simmering down, I think it all through.
Her collapse, her voice, her words...
It's very clear.
I remember reading about it a long time ago. Naturally, Charlie forced me to. But now I'm thankful she did.
It can only mean one thing.
* * *
I open the door to the hospital wing only to find it to be empty.
I never knew I'd be intrigued by something so... irrational. At least going by my standards.
I need to know.
I go back to our dormitory to catch some sleep. But I end up doing various of things. Just not sleeping.
I decide to sit on the window sill.
I gaze up.
The black sky glitters with it's stars, forming a miraculous pattern of light.
I'd never admit it to anyone, especially not to Charlie, but I'm mesmerized by the stars. How they seem so much closer sometimes than they truly are. As if you can touch them and make a long lost wish come true...
And through it all, it suddenly hits me.
"When the dark comes..."
Panic starts to rise up from the bottom of my stomach again.
But what do I do?! I don't know who it is! It can be anyone.
Why is it that my brain fails in times of crises?!
It's moments like these I wonder if the sorting hat did a good job with me.
Then again, it's not like I'm brave, nice or cunning.
Seriously, I need to focus.
What do I do?
* * *
"Rise and shine, sleepy!" Charlie pushes me slightly and I find myself sleeping by the window.
No wonder my every muscle hurts.
Wait a minute...
"Damnit!" I dress up quickly.
"What's got your knickers in a twist?" She frowns at me.
"No time!" I storm out rushing senselessly to the Great Hall.
As I arrive, I scan the lot furiously almost not breathing at all.
And there, seated between Lily and Lysander, is Alice Longbottom.
I run to her.
"Oh, hi Dora." Lily smiles at me and then frowns. "Er, do you know that you have a bit of saliva on your cheek?"
I blink and clean it with my sleeve.
I know. I'm so splendid.
"Alice, can we talk?" I mimic for us to move from the gang and be alone.
Thankfully, she understands.
She gets up and we go outside.
As we are walking by the lake, I glance at her.
"You don't remember, do you?"
"What?" She seems confused.
"Me. Catching you in the toilet. Taking you to the hospital wing."
She pales instantly. "I wondered how I got there. I thought it was me somehow but... It didn't make any sense..."
I scan her face. "You're a Seer, aren't you?"
She looks up at me with pure shock. "How did you..."
"Doesn't matter. What matters is your safety and what you said..."
"What was it?"
"You don't remember?" I'm a little surprised.
She shrugs. "Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. It's hard to explain."
She shakes her head. "And I'd like to ask you to keep the secret, Dora. Please, I don't want anyone to know."
"But you need help!"
"No! Dora, don't! I... I can handle it." She looks away.
"Hello? If I wasn't there, who knows what would've happened."
"And I'm grateful to you but I want things to stay like this."
I sigh, defeated.
"What did I say?" She asks again.
"The worst thing possible." I look at her, my voice trembling. "I think someone's going to die. That is, if it hasn't happened already."
Her look suddenly loses it's twinkle.
She turns around to avoid my gaze.
"Maybe it won't."
"You're saying that you're visions are not always accurate?!" A part of my lost hope arises from the bottom of my heart.
She looks at me again.
I can tell she's holding on to a hopeless wish.
"I hate this." She whispers.
In that exact moment Fred Weasley runs out from the castle followed by a crowd of students that are laughing and cheering loudly.
"What's going on?" I ask an unfamiliar blond boy who happens to walk near us.
"No school today! Can you belive that? Apparently Mr Filch's cat died."
Alice and I share a knowing look.
And even though I adore animals and think that people can learn quite some things from them, I'm relieved.
And let's face it. Mrs Norris The Third was not that cute either.
For her, though, things don't end here.
It'll happen again.
And she has to live with that.
* * *
"Who knew McGonagall would give us a day of just because of a cat." Roxy mutters while eating chicken wings.
She's a meat person. And a messy one too.
"Well, her animagus is a cat. I guess that's why she feels more sympathy than the rest of us." Charlie says wisely.
I look across the Hall. Alice is gazing at me.
We share a small smile.
I know I'm not the biggest believer out there. But this changes... everything.
Alice knows the future.
How jealous would Charlie be if she found out?
It's truly haunting.
I wouldn't mind peaking at the future. At what's to come.
I feel it would give me a sense of safety and... I don't know. Maybe I wouldn't feel so lost all of the time.
But Alice's pain... Is it worth it?
Maybe I'll change my mind. I hope so. 'Cause these sentiments don't really make me look good.
But for now, a tiny part of me envies her.
Because, let's face it...
Wouldn't you want to know if you end up marrying your dream guy, buying your dream house or having those two children you always imagined you would?
Wouldn't it give more meaning and savour to everything that you're going through right now?
Knowing that somewhere ahead... it will all fall into it's place?
Ok, I really need to talk to Alice.
A/N: What do you think? ;)
Dora's life is getting more and more complicated. But don't worry. It's just a hard battle before she wins the war. :) This is, indeed, a story of victory.
I hope you enjoy this chapter as much as I did while writing it.
Chapter 6: Do You Want To Know The Future?
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A/N: Hello again! Since you're such great readers I wanted to surprise you with a super-quick update.
I hope you'll like this one. It features Alice, as I'm sure you foresaw from the title. And much more. ;)
Do You Want To Know The Future?
Professor Dante of DADA decided this morning that it was a splendid idea to give us homework. Already.
I mean, how do they expect us to like the subject when someone like that teaches it?
I wouldn't have anything against it. If it was a reasonable word count. But he crosses every line.
It's like, mate, chill out!
And since I'm mentioning Chill...
Of course he is at the library, too. His nose deep in a book, three tables away.
I glance at him.
He does this thing, like always when he's concentrating... brushing his deep brown locks away to his right side.
I never noticed, though, that he looks kind of... I don't know... peacefully... cute, when he does that.
Don't be shocked. I already said he's hot. But it doesn't help him at all. He's a jerk. And period.
Strangely, I feel lonely here without Charlie. We always sit together and do our homework while Roxy's doing her Quidditch stuff.
Lee's having her Divination class which I gladly haven't chosen as one of mine. I've heard stories about it. And I don't like them.
That weird I still am not.
I take another glance at Faldo.
He's doing it again.
How does his hair look better than mine?
I'm a girl!
Concentrate, Dora! This homework won't write itself!
I sigh and return to my school duties.
Just for a second, though.
Soon I get up, strangely-not even having second thoughts, pick up my things and go to sit with Faldo.
He looks up and as soon as he notices it's me, he furiously hides his book.
"What do you want, Dursley?"
I blink. He never calls me Dursley.
"Er... For some reason, I don't have a wish to sit alone anymore. So I thought..."
"You thought wrong." He stands up and packs too.
"Here's your table." With that he leaves the library and I'm standing there, staring at the door.
What the heck was that?
All right, this Faldo thing is beginning to get to me.
He is weirder than usual. And that's saying something.
Not that I'm worried for him. Just... I don't know.
I thought I'd never say this, but I kind of wish he'd call me Blue again. At least there's something playful about that nickname.
The way he said 'Dursley' was so... So cold.
I know he's like a robot. But sometimes, when he does these little things... Like the hair brush or, or when he smiles when I frown at him and when he calls me Blue... I forget that he's so stern and actually believe that I could maybe someday tolerate him.
I don't know.
Why am I even thinking about him this much?
He annoys me.
I glance at the door again and sigh.
But Faldo teasing me, the two of us constantly bickering... It is what holds my world in a balanced state. However peculiar that sounds... It's true.
I must be going insane.
Only that could explain why I'm considering to tolerate Faldo one day.
I'm still doing it.
* * *
"Students, open your books to page 124." Professor Binns says in that droning voice of his.
Every Raveclaw student does so.
Gryffindors, on the contrary, are doing anything but that.
Roxy and I give our best to stay awake.
Even entertaining ourselves writing dirty notes to each other.
But it's hardly helpful.
I glance at Charlie. She's sleeping. Typical.
I just don't understand how she gets all these great grades when all she does at classes is sleep.
Apart from Divination, Potions and Astronomy, of course. In those she makes up for the frequent absence of mind. And she does it with passion. It can get really annoying.
Wait, why am I complaining about her sleeping again?
Roxy smirks evilly nodding her head at Lee.
She gesticulates a poking.
Oh, I see.
I smirk back.
We take our wands out and on a silent count of three we poke Charlie with them.
She jumps up from her chair.
Mind you, she says that very loudly and to a full classroom.
Roxy and I try to hide our giggles.
Professor Binns doesn't look too happy.
Neither do the Ravenclaws.
Seriously, guys. You're not helping breaking the stereotypical view of us Ravenclaws being selfish little nerds.
"Why did you do that?" Charlie whines. "I was having the most beautiful dream."
"Let me guess." Roxy interrupts. "You saw your future."
"With Sam." I fill in, still giggling.
Charlie frowns. "I can't wait until you guys fall in love. I know it'll be torture and I'm already looking forward to it."
"I am in love." I protest crossing my arms.
Charlie looks at me with sympathy.
"You're not." She says sternly.
"I am. I am. I am."
"Dora, what is it that you like about Louis?" Charlie examines my face.
"What are you doing?" Roxy shakes her head at Lee.
"Why are you asking me that?" I stutter.
"Just answer. Why do you like Louis? Tell me."
I open my mouth.
But nothing comes out.
Who knew this would be so hard?
Lee smirks. "See? You don't know. And that's because you're not in love with Louis. He's just a fantasy, your way of escaping and hiding..."
Roxy rolls her eyes.
But I'm still.
Something actually wakes up in my body. My mind.
Like she struck a nerve.
"I think you picked him because he'll never fall for you. And you'll always be at a safe distance."
"What about you? Sam has a girlfriend, too." Roxy, my advocate.
Lee smiles. "I know Sam. That's why I like him, to begin with. I'm not saying we'll end up together. But I'm not afraid of failure. Putting myself out there. I'm not afraid to open up."
Yep. She definitively struck a nerve.
I nervously search through my mind to find something appropriate to say.
But, thankfully, Professor Binns decides he had enough of our little chatter.
We end up scrubbing the floor after class.
Has Professor Binns punished anyone before?
I guess there's a first time for everything.
"Thanks guys." Roxy hisses at us. "I really need this now when I'm supposed to train for the tryouts!"
Lee forcefully swings her cleaning cane and soaks Roxy's whole back with it.
Roxy turns around with a wide mouth and death-glaring at Charlie.
"What the heck, Lee?! What was that for?!"
"For being a suckish team mate, Weasley. I pity those poor bastards who have to bear with you."
Oh, no. Not again.
Roxy inhales deeply several times before taking her wand and pointing it at Charlie.
Charlie standing in a plash of water shaking her head.
"Payback!" Roxy smirks to herself and starts packing after I cast the drying spell on her back.
"Where are you going?!" I yell at her. "Clean up your mess!"
"Sorry, mum. I have better things to do. Besides, this is as much Charlie's mess as it is mine."
She laughs before running out.
"Havens! I'm not ready to be a single mum!" I yelp.
Charlie rolls her eyes.
I know, we're such a lovely bunch.
* * *
Scorpius and I sit together at dinner.
I missed the guy.
My older brother.
My best boy friend.
"So, you never told me how it was at your aunt Daphne's." I mutter while chewing my pumpkin pie.
I kind of eat it every evening.
I know it's not healthy!
I'm just too lazy to pick out a good meal.
I wish I have Faldo's nerves.
But I don't. So, no making me feel worse than I already do.
Just look at him. Tasting his boiled carrots. How can anyone sane like that?! I mean, really!
"All right, I guess." He shrugs.
"Just all right?" I smile at him suggestively.
He laughs. "How do you do that?"
"Do what?" I pretend to be all innocent.
"Make me wanna tell you everything. And I mean everything. Even the color of my underwear."
Charlie perks up. "Oh, do tell us that."
Roxy rolls her eyes. "Leave the boy alone, Lee. You already have one to blubber over."
Charlie crosses her arms seemingly offended and Roxy smirks.
"Ok. Now back to the story. What happened, Scorp?"
"You don't give up, do you?" He laughs at me.
"Why would I?"
"To spare us some headache." Faldo looks at me with his half open baby-blues.
I stick out my tongue at him. I usually do so when I don't believe I have an answer that will rival his. This is one of those cases.
He sighs shaking his head and goes back to, insert shudder, eating his boiled carrots.
"Can we, er, talk about this in private?" Scorpius eyes me. "Crowds make me nervous."
"Oh, come on! How do you play Quidditch then?" Roxy snorts.
We all look at her.
"What? It's a valid point!"
I laugh. Is it possible that Roxy wants to hear this, too?
Scoprius and I still go to sit a little farther, leaving our friends behind.
"What is it, Scorp?" I ask finally, at a safe distance.
He takes a deep breath. "I... I met a girl."
The whole Hall stares at me. Our friends included. They're glaring especially passionately.
"Sorry. Please, carry on."
Scorpius smiles at me. "Her name is Jane."
"Jane." I repeat with a small sigh.
"We... We kissed."
Ok, I really, really tried to stay calm.
What? You don't believe me?
Well, I don't care, anyway.
I trow myself at him and we lend on the floor.
I'm so trilled that I don't even notice the small flying camera twirling above us.
"That's great, Scorp!"
Scorp looks at me, smiling gently. "Thanks for being so happy for me, sis."
My heart does a small jump. He called me...
"Come here, dummy."
We lie-hug. And let me tell you... it is the best hug I've ever experienced. And I'm not ashamed to admit that it's with my brother. No. I'm proud of it.
It turns out, Scorpius' fling... Didn't last.
But the feeling of his first kiss will always remain.
He says it was the only moment when he didn't think of Rose. And it made him happy.
I actually wonder if he's starting to let go of her.
That is, until the next day. When all hell breaks loose.
* * *
I wake up like every day, not suspecting that my life's about to become just a little more complicated than it already is.
As soon as I open my eyes, Charlie jumps me.
"Did you read this?!" She shoves a copy of 'Daily Hogwarts' in my face.
"How could've I? I've been sleeping!"
Lee ignores my peevishness. "Read!"
I take the paper from her.
"Of course, I already knew this would happen." She sighs shaking her head.
But then, the headline strikes like a deadly virus. The one going by the name of, who else, Marilyn Gold.
Malfoy and Dursley
Finally an official couple
I drop the paper, my breath caught up in my throat.
"Oh, this is bad."
I walk into the common room, gulping.
As I expected, Scorpius' stalker-fan girls are trowing daggers at me with their death looks. You know, the ones that hoped Scorpius was single all this time because of exactly them.
But as soon as I take a glance at Al, Scorp and Faldo, I wish I stayed locked up in my dormitory. For an eternity.
Albus is crossing his arms and frowning, Faldo is pretending to read a book (Not convincing at all.) and Scorpius is glancing at me in sheer panic.
"Sit." Albus orders.
I gulp again and don't even think of doing different.
Albus can be scary. Just like aunt Ginny. I think all of them got that gene.
"What is this about?" I ask quietly.
"Oh, you really don't know?" Al looks like he's about to explode.
From rage, I suppose. No, I know. It's pretty obvious, actually.
I glance at Scorpius.
"No, no, no! Don't look at him!" Al warns me. "Eyes on me!"
"Are you sure this is the right place to do this? I mean, there are people here." I whisper.
"What on Earth were you thinking?" Al ignores me.
"Just as I thought. Nothing!" He waves his hands at us furiously.
Al then gets up and starts pacing around the room.
Faldo glances at me.
I mouth a 'what'.
He's giving me weird looks.
Al suddenly runs to Scorpius and pokes him in his chest. "How could you not tell me!? I'm your best mate! And she's my cousin!"
"I'm not saying I have anything against it. But still! It would've been nice to know before the whole school does!"
"Al, we're not a couple!" I finally yell, much to relief of all Scorp's fan girls.
"I knew it!" Faldo shrieks.
We look at him puzzled.
"What?" He clears his throat pretty loudly. " I was right, so I'm happy. Just because I was right. I'm always right."
He mutters some more before returning to his book.
"So, what is this all about?" Al eyes us.
"It's Marilyn. You know her." I say as a matter-of-fact.
Al nods his head. "So... that thing yesterday in the Great Hall..."
"It's private." I glance at Scorp and he smiles thankfully. "Scorp'll tell you later. But it's not that we're together. Besides, you know who he likes."
The fan girls begin to mutter among themselves again.
"Right... I kind of forgot about that." Al looks at us guilty. "Sorry, guys."
"It's ok." Scorp shrugs and I smile at him in a reassuring way.
"Besides, it's obvious these two are just friends." Faldo adds. "I told you, Al."
"No..." Al frowns. "What you told me is that Dora has no taste in men."
Scorpius glares at Faldo.
"I... I was just..." Faldo stutters.
"Guys, guys!" I stop the madness.
Even though this is so much fun-seeing Faldo scared to his knickers.
They all look at me.
"Not that I'm offended by being paired up with Scorpus, but we need to set things straight."
"I guess you're right. Not that she'll care anyway." Scorp sighs.
And I sigh with him.
Neither will Louis.
But when we actually do get to the Great Hall, we're proven utterly wrong.
As soon as Scorpius and I walk in, side by side, Rose Weasley stands up and runs outside past us. Almost in tears.
Louis goes after her giving me a pasty look in the process.
Is this some kind of an alternate universe?
I'm beginning to think so.
"She broke up with Dorian." Lily explains to us after we ask for an insight. "And now, every time she sees a happy couple, she automatically bursts into tears. She can't help it."
Lily shakes her head sorrowfully.
"I wouldn't have pegged Rose down as a sentimental lunatic."
"Roxy!" Lee gloats at her.
"All right, you want me to stop talking completely?!"
"Actually, I think I'd enjoy that for a moment. A very long moment!"
Lost in his own world, Scorpius is beaming.
"She's single." He almost sings.
"Scorp, not to be a downer but even when she was single before, you never had the courage to ask her out." Al says.
"I know. But now I see things clearer. Besides, I have you guys." He smiles at us lovingly.
"What do you mean?"
I'm actually a little scared here.
"Oh, you'll see." He smirks rubbing his palms against each other in a mean-cartoon-character-way.
Why do I have a feeling this won't end up good?
Oh, that's right.
Because Scorpius is the world's worst plan-maker and it won't.
* * *
That night Alice pops into my mind again and I almost don't sleep at all. It's hard to when all you think about is how someone close to you maybe knows it all. Knows where you're headed. Knows all the mistakes you'll make. All the hurdles you'll have to survive.
I mean, how am I supposed to be able to sleep?! Come on! It's impossible.
I turn to Lee and our roommates. They're all fast asleep.
Well, now I feel better.
I stand up, rubbing my eyes.
I guess I can as well go for a little walk.
I put my vest on and silently slide out. I walk down the stairs on my toes.
Happy that I managed to reach the middle of the common room with no one catching me in the process, I do a little dance.
"Nice moves, Blue."
I immediately stop, frozen.
Already knowing what's awaiting me, I turn around sighing, defeated.
And sure enough, there he is. Sitting by the fireplace. Reading a book. And how can I forget, smirking.
But I can't deny it, the 'Blue' makes me just slightly happy.
"Ok. What do you want in exchange for your silence?"
He stands up, walks to me and starts circling me like a vulture.
Which I'd say he was in his past life. If I belived in those.
"So, tell me, Blue. What are you up to?" He smirks into my face.
Oh, that is so low. Using my own words against me!
"Come on, Faldo. Just say what you want and things won't get ugly."
"You're threatening me?" He fakes a surprised expression.
I curse silently.
"No. I'm just asking."
"I didn't hear a 'please', though." He smirks even wider.
My eye twitches again. That is not a good sign. Well, for Faldo it isn't.
"Forget it. This is not worth it." I twirl around to go back to my room with four snoring girls.
Now I'm the one smirking as I turn around. "What is it, Faldo?"
He sighs. "Fine. I won't tell anyone."
I happily skip beside him to the common room entrance.
"But isn't it a little too late for you to wonder around the castle alone?"
I grin. "Why, Faldo, I'd almost presume you're worried for me."
"No." He answers immediately. "I just don't want to have your death on my conscience."
He returns to sit by the fireplace and picks up his book.
I almost scream in frustration. But decide not to. Since I fought so hard to leave this place without being noticed.
I walk out and pace through the dark corridors, Faldo's mention of death not exactly helping me feel calm.
* * *
The Owlery is my hide spot. Not that it's secret. Just with muggle technology making it big time at the wizard market, sending letters is not popular as before.
I used to come here when I was upset. Which happened almost on a daily basis. Especially in my first year.
It was all a big shock for me. Being so... hated.
I was just a child. And even though now I'm almost sixteen, I sometimes feel like that hurt child again.
But I don't run to anyone for help. I run to be alone.
It was always like that. I guess with so many people turning against me, I began distrusting them.
But can you blame me?
I'd love to be more like Scorpius. He's tough. He doesn't let it get to him that much.
And, because all of that... I wonder if I'll ever be able to let anyone in completely.
I enter the room with dozens of owls and one petite girl staring at me.
I stumble backwards.
"Havens! You scared the crap out of me!" I shudder.
Alice stands up. "I'm sorry about that."
"What are you doing here? It's so weird that we decided to come here at the same time, so late." I gasp.
"It's no coincidence, though." Alice nears me.
"What do you mean?"
Her hazel eyes search mine. "I saw you coming here."
A creepy feeling runs down my spine. "In a... vision?"
She nods and finally smiles.
I breath out with relief.
For a moment I thought she was some kind of a zombie.
Weirder things have happened at Hogwarts!
"Well... Why did you want to meet me?"
She sighs. "It wasn't my only vision of you."
My heart races up. "Really?"
She nods. "It sometimes happens when I have an important talk with someone or if the memory of that person is fresh... I get a vision of that individual."
"I understand..." I slowly nod my head too.
"I saw it in your eyes, Dora. You want to know the things I know. Am I right?"
I guess she gets it from her dad. The 'can read your thoughts just by looking at you' quality.
"Yes." I answer honestly. "What did you see?"
She smiles again. "Are you sure you want to know? I mean, I already saw whom I'm going to marry. And it took the element of surprise away. It'd love to be able to just go through life expecting the love of my life at every corner. And I'd be more devoted to all of my boyfriends. Now... I just don't think I'll be able to be so loving to them when I know that our relationships won't last. Do you understand what I'm trying to say here?"
I gaze at her.
How come she's so much more mature than I am?
Why am I like this? Why can't I just accept life as it is and enjoy it?
But no! I still need to know.
"What?" I ask, confused.
"I know that look. You can't help yourself, can you? It's the Ravenclaw in you."
I smirk. "I guess so."
"I get it. So...you really wanna hear this?"
I nod my head in anticipation.
"All right. You asked for it." Alice closes her eyes.
I suppose in order to concentrate on her memory better.
"It's a warm evening." She begins in that light voice of hers. " You're wearing a blue jacket. A male figure stands behind you. He has his palm over your eyes. You don't see anything. You're walking through a dark corridor..."
"Stop!" I gasp suddenly.
Alice opens her eyes and glances at me confused.
"I... I..." The air is escaping my lungs and I can't breath. "I... I dreamed about that... exactly the way you described it!"
"Wait... How... ?" She frowns.
"I... I don't know!" This is becoming more strange by the second. "I saw a man or a boy pushing me forward until he took away his hand and we were standing before the Eiffel Tower."
Alice's eyes twinkle with an unusual light. "That's it! That's what I saw too!"
"So... So it wasn't a dream?! It'll happen?!"
I can't breath.
I sit down on a pile of sawdust.
My chest hurts. Hard.
Alice joins me and puts a gentle hand on my shoulder.
"Are you ok?"
"What does this mean?!" I face her. "I'm not a Seer! I'm not!"
I realize how I'm acting. Like it's some kind of a disease.
And it's hurting Alice.
"I didn't mean it like that."
"No. It's all right." She looks away.
"Alice, I'm sorry." I take her hand and she gazes at me. "I'm just confused."
"I thought you wanted to know."
I look up to the stars.
Is it really possible to tell the future by studying them?
I turn to Alice again."You know who he is?"
She smiles. "I know."
A shudder slowly creeps and overtakes my whole body.
All this time, even when I tried to convince myself that it's just a silly dream, I secretly hoped that the dream guy is real. And now, when I have the chance to find out who he is... Why am I hesitating? Wouldn't it make things easier if I just knew?
But then I realize...
In my twisted theory, it most certainly would. In real life, though...
She scans my face. "What do you mean?"
I smile. "I want to be surprised."
"Yeah." I laugh and look at her once again. "But... Can you just tell me one thing about him? One thing. It'll satisfy my appetite."
Alice laughs too and stands up, nearing the entrance.
I lift myself up too.
She then turns around, giggling.
"He's at Hogwarts right now." With that she winks at me and runs off.
I laugh to myself at her playful tease and finally realize.
I'm glad I still don't know.
Chapter 7: Roxy's secret
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A/N: Just a quick thank you to those who are still with me and following this story. Thanks so much! You have no idea how much it means to me! And to Dora, too. ;D
Disclaimer: Oh, how I wish I own the Harry Potter universe. But sadly, I don't.
It's a peculiar thought. The dream guy. Here. At Hogwarts. Wandering around the same corridors, taking the same classes, eating the same food. Being so close. Isn't it peculiar indeed?
When you think about it, every person can be the right one. And you may not know it. You can live alongside each other for years without knowing. Or you can meet in that one wondrous, magical moment and know immediately.
I wonder... What's it going to be for me?
Have our eyes met across a room yet? And one thought in particular bothers me. Is he Louis?
Charlie's words come back to me, craving for my insecurity.
Am I in love with him? Or is it really just a fantasy? How can I know for sure?
* * *
As I try to enter the Great Hall, I spot Tate sitting with his Hufflepuff friends, laughing. His light brown hair falling in his eyes in that sweet way of his.
An unsettled feeling consumes me. I can't confront him now. I'm not ready.
You see, the last time we spoke we actually barely did so. He asked me if I want to be his girlfriend and I ran off. As usual.
I didn't mean to be so harsh to him. All this running away happens against my will.
Ok, maybe I want to hide. But it's not like I don't aspire to man up and be brave some day. Like I said, I just need time.
I try to follow my usual crisis exit and disappear, but someone interferes with my plans.
I turn around and James smiles at me grabbing my shoulder. I see he is relaxed, much unlike myself. Though, James is not always like this. I know he has troubles of his own. I suppose he's just better at covering them up.
"I've been looking for you. Where are Roxy and Charlie?" He frowns.
What? It's not like I can't go anywhere without them.
Oh, right. It's James. He doesn't know that.
"Isn't it obvious?"
He frowns again.
I really wish he knew me better. But I guess we'll get to get point eventually.
"Roxy's training like a mad woman. And Lee's having her 'Hey! We love Sam K.!' meeting."
Gosh. My friends are so busy. Am I the only one with so much free time? Or rather, with no life? I guess I am.
"Listen, Dora." James interrups my daydream sequence. "I've been planning to do this since we got here. I just wanted to tell you. So you don't freak out tomorrow."
Why am I nervous? It can't be anything bad, right?
"I'm going to publicly apologize to you tomorrow at lunch."
I'm instantly taken aback. I know James wants us to repair our relationship. But I didn't have a clue he'd go this far. James was always proud. And now this?
I guess I must be truly important to him. This small thought brings a smile to my face.
"James, you don't have to do that."
"No. No." He cuts in, waving his hand. "I have to. It's overdue, really. People need to know that I've been misleading them about you."
I want to tell him that it's not his fault. But I can't. Because, it is partially his fault.
James gazes at me, a soft yet melancholic smile gracing his plump lips. I've never quite noticed before how they're the exact same shape as his mother's.
I guess I always first notice the person inside, then out. I'd say it's a great quality in these times of superficiality.
I kiss him on the cheek fortuitously.
He blinks surprised. "What was that for?"
"For trying so hard."
I can tell he's touched by my gesture. James returns the favor by putting his arm around my shoulders and we stroll down the hallways together. I feel like with each day and each of his actions, we're closer to being a family. Or what's even more astonishing, to being friends.
And... I forget about Tate completely.
If Charlie's right about the karma theory, I'll be a roach in my next life.
* * *
I once again try to ignore the fact that Faldo's reading yet another book, completely engrossed. I try to block the memory of him escaping to the Room of Requirement the other day.
But I fail.
"So, Faldo. Here we are again." I sit myself next to him by the fireplace.
Of course, he shuts his book and shoves it aside.
I frown. "Why do you keep doing that?"
"Doing what?" He snears.
"Getting all protective over your books when I'm around."
He snorts. "I'm not doing that."
"Um, yes, yes you are." I assure him rolling my eyes.
"No. You're just imagining things, Blue."
"You two seriously need to shut up! Like, immediately."
I don't think I could handle Faldo going all silent on me at this point. It has become a constant in my life. It'd just be too weird.
After pondering about Faldo for a moment, I turn to the source of the clearly irritated voice. And that's when I realize that Scorpius has been sitting by the staircase this whole time.
How could've I not seen him?
"I'm trying to concetrate." Scorp explains.
"On what exactly?" Faldo raises his eyebrow. "You're not even reading a book."
"It's all here." He shows to his head, all serious.
Faldo and I exchange a knowing look. Finally we agree on something.
"Scorp, maybe you should lay it off for a moment." I suggest knowing exactly about whom he's thinking. "I mean, she did just broke up with him."
"No! The timing is perfect!" He jolts enthusiasticly. "Trust me!"
"The way you're acting, I doubt even the most insane person would trust you." Faldo says.
Again. I agree.
Two times in one day? Wow, this must be some kind of a record!
"No, no. It'll be good. Great. No, wait. Magnificent!"
At this, Scorpius stands up and runs furiously to his dormitory.
"Well. I know love canusts him on the cheek impulstoo. :Dhose who are still with me and following this story. Thanks so much! You have no idea how m make you do funny things. But this is just... sad." I shake my head, sighing.
"Second that." Faldo nods.
Then we both realize what we're doing. I jump up and start straighting my robe maniacally. Even thought it's perfectly tidy. And Faldo turns to a random girl that has been staring at him for a while and starts chatting with her. Obviously, she almost faints.
"I'm gonna..." I mutter.
He glances up at me. "Yeah."
"Ok." I clear my throat.
I almost fall on my face while pacing away.
This is one strange day.
* * *
At lunch, as promised, James redeems.
He stands up from his chair stagily, walks to the center of the room and casts the Sonorus spell so everybody can hear him. And sure enough, the crowd turns it's attention to him. Well, he's James. They always will.
He clears his throat. "Everyone. I need to tell you something."
He then looks in my direction. "Dora. Will you come here, please?"
I stand up, not feeling this whole 'staring at Dursley' thing.
This is why I avoid crowds. I feel as if I'm melting to my death under their stares. And I am. At least in my mind. Currently I'm resembling a swamp with two eye balls swimming in it.
Ok, that was super gross. Even for my sick imagination.
I walk to James and he squeezes my palm, smiling at me. I can read his will and determination in those deep brown eyes. Just like the day he asked for my forgivness.
And now, he's doing it again.
"Dora, in front of everyone here..." He gazes at me, like he's looking right at my soul, seaching again for that little hurt girl inside. "I'm sorry for all the pain I caused you. For every time I insulted you. Every time I broke your heart. I know I made you insecure. And I probably never will forgive myself. But..." James gazes around the Hall.
I have a feeling no one's even breathing. How does he do that?
"Guys, you have to know the thruth. The bad guy is me. Not Dora. She never was. Never will be. 'Cause she had the heart to give me a second chance. And only the best of us are capable of doing such a humane thing."
James casts a Quietus and suddenly twirls so he's facing me again. Just me.
He sinks into my tremulous look and I know that he's honest.
"Thank you, Dora."
I smile, my eyes burning from the urge to cry. James doesn't let that happen as he holds me tightly in his arms, supporting me. So I don't break in front of everyone. Like he knows insinctivelly I'd dread that.
I guess having the same blood really means something. And there are some bounds that will always be there.
As James gives me a tender kiss on my cheek, the Hall erupts into cheers.
I step back, startled.
"They're supporting you, Dora." James smiles softly.
"No." I shake my head. "It's because of you."
He laughs. "One day I hope you'll learn that you, Dora, truly are a great person. And, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to you, people can actually see and appreciate that."
I nod my head and we embrace again.
A light flutter fills my body as I take in the Hall. Maybe James is right. And people are not that bad after all.
I feel as if I'm being offered a second chance myself. A chance to show everyone who Dora Dursley really is. And it's all thanks to James. I squeeze his hand even harder.
Then, my gaze wanders to Louis sitting with Dawn and they're both clapping. His eyes are full of joy as he sends me a warm smile.
Here we go again.
* * *
It's the day of Roxy's tryouts. I know this because she won't stop reminding me. Over and over again. Even if I have a strict 'no Quidditch' rule. And she knows it.
"Please. Please, come watch me!"
"You have Lee for that." I return not looking at her.
I can't stand her 'puppy dog eyes' gaze. It always breaks me down.
"Lee?" Roxy snorts rolling her eyes. "Lee's only half present. She spaces out on a regular basis. Fantasising about Sam, of course."
Lee gasps. "Hey! Oh... wait. Yeah, I really do that."
I can't believe this. They agree.
What is this? First Faldo and I. Then Charlie and Roxy. This can't be right.
"Dee!" Roxy says with just a thouch of whinning. "Be a good friend and come cheer me on!"
She pronaunces the 'good friend' part especially loud.
"You knew very well from the start that I hate it." I finally glance at her. "Please don't make me do this."
Everyone looks at me, frowning.
What? It's just a game. If she was getting married, I'd certainly come. Well, unless the wedding was somehow orgainzed in air, on brooms. But who does that? Ok... I'm not going to put that idea in her head.
"It's just for half an hour, Dora." Al pleads me.
Why is everyone against me?
"It's ok." Roxy finally says. "I get it."
"Really?" I ask, hopeful.
She smiles. "You hate Quidditch. I can't change that. It'd be wrong to force you. It's just a tryout, anyway."
"Yes! Exactly!" I exclaim. "Thanks, Roxy."
She nods, understanding.
I sigh contently, happy that the torture is finally over, and continue eating my pie. I don't even registre the painful silence.
Have you ever eaten a pumkin pie? If you have, you'll understand why.
* * *
I use all of my will to read a Potion lesson. I hate that subject. Why does it even exist?! Al and Charlie will kill me if they ever hear me say that out loud. They are just the biggest Potion fanatics out there.
I choose to sit in the library, as the common room is filled with anticippating Quidditch fans.
I know. I'm a beast. Mary was right all along. But I just can't make myself go.
"Pst!" The handfull of people that are actually in the library and not waiting to see the tryouts hiss at the intruder.
"Faldo?" I glance at him as he storms in, his breathing slightly heavier.
"What are you doing here?"
He stands beside me, his head tittled to the side. "It's twenty minutes 'til the tryouts begin."
"I know that." I roll my eyes while snorting pretty loudly.
"Yes, but what you don't know is that you're attending."
With that, he grabs my hand and pulls me toward him.
The library people glare at us.
And the library lady, too. "Please, children. Outside!"
I don't want ot leave. Faldo, of course, doesn't care about what I want.
I let out a frustrated yelp but we still end up in the corridor.
I tear my palm off from his and glare at him with passion. "Will you just leave me, Faldo?! I'm busy!"
"You should be out there! And you know it!"
"Yes!" He grabs my hand again. "I'm going and you're coming with me!"
"I don't want to go anywhere with you!"
"Oh, but you are!"
And before I know it, he picks me like a sack of potatoes and flings me up over his right shoulder.
Who knew he's this strong? Yes, he did play Quidditch. But I always saw him as a sissy. Always will.
"Faldo! Put. Me. Down!" I start kicking him with my hands and legs.
But since he's a robot, he doesn't even twitch. Instead, he paces toward Hogwarts' entrance door, not slowing down.
"You want me to do it this way? Or will you go by yourself?" He asks, while holding me even thighter over his shoulder. "It's your choice. And if you want to choose neither, well-you can't."
I'm going to kill him!
"Ok! I'll go alone! Just put me down already!"
Finally, he listens to me.
As I safely land on the ground, I stumble a few steps away, just so to restrain myself from attacking him.
"What the hell, Faldo!? You can't do this! You can't just pick me up and... and... and drag me out there!"
He smirks. "Oh, really? Yet, I still did."
"Will you go?" He asks, even sounding like he cares about my oppinion.
"If you leave me alone!"
I storm off, rage filling my body.
I can't even think straight. It's always like this with Faldo. He's... just... so...
I marsh to the pitch almost blinded by anger. I don't even notice the clouds forming on the afternoon sky. I spot Lee on the Ravenclaw side of the tribune, having a relaxed and dreamy expression on her face.
But as soon as she sees me, Charlie shrieks. "You're here!"
She turns to the pitch where all the candidats are waiting in line and Owen's giving them instructions.
"Roxy! She's here!"
Roxy looks up and, upon spoting me, beams wider than ever.
Wow. She really wasn't honest at dinner, was she? She did want me to come.
"Roxy's a great friend, Dee." Charlie gazes at me. "I'm glad you finally understand."
And I realize. She needs me. People need people. Just like Professor Neville said.
If I like being alone so much, does that make me less of a friend?
"It's ok, Dora. You're here now. That's all that counts." Lee smiles at me while patting my back.
I settle next to her, not liking the seats too much. No, wait. I hate them. You'd think that with all the magic, they would make more comfortable stands. I really don't get it.
"What made you change your mind, anyway?"
"Faldo." I answer through my teeth.
Charlie frowns. "Really? I didn't know you'd ever listen to him."
"It wasn't willingly, trust me." I snort.
Lee's smile instantly fades.
"But!" I insert quickly. "I'm glad he did what he did. It seems that sometimes he actually knows what's good for me."
We focus our attention on Roxy again.
And when she gets to fight for the spot, she does it with sheer passion. A passion I wish she'd have with other things, too. After the tryouts are over, there's a five minutes pause. Roxy searches our faces and we smile at her for support. She takes a deep breath and continues watching Owen writing something down in his notebook.
"You saw that?" Al makes his way to us, followed by Faldo and Scorpius. "She was great!"
"I'm not even doubting it." I smile. "She'll get the spot."
"Does this mean you'll be watching my matches, too?" Scorpius asks hopeful.
Faldo's looking at me with that 'eyebrow raised' look. I hate it. Then again, is there a look of his that doesn't irk me?
I give up. "Fine."
Scorpius launches himself at me and we almost fall off the seat. I laugh. We both do.
Taking a quick glance at Faldo, I notice that he doesn't have his usual smirk gracing his lips. It' just a simple, small smile. I suddenly feel something I never felt toward him. Gratitude. And it takes me by complete surprise. A smirk stretches across my face as I realize that I like the sentiment. Even though I'm not sure why.
'Cause, it's Faldo. The pretencious, know-it-all, irksome, nickname-calling, annoyingly handsome jerk. But... Maybe, just maybe, I can add a 'good friend' to that in the future.
We'll see. He's still on probation. He did carry me around like a lifeless pupet.
And finally Owen's ready to make the anouncement. We all cluster in one small circle. Owen uses the Sonorus spell to volume up his voice, much like James the previous day.
"So, ok. I'll just go straight to the point."
No one makes a sound.
He continues, his voice echoing again. "Those who made this year's team are..."
I squeeze Charlie's hand. She yelps.
"Sorry." I mutter quickly.
We return to listening just in time to hear the following:
"Ally Jones, Roxanne Weasley, Theodor..."
Charlie and I scream. Not even the rain, that pours from the sky all of a sudden, can ruin our happiness for Roxy.
I realize that I don't want to miss this again. Being there for my friends.
I search for Faldo's look. But he's clapping away, just like Al and Scorp are. The raindrops are sliding down his cheeks in a perfectly proper way. Why does everything about him have to be just too perfect? It bugs me!
I shake off the thought and turn to Lee. We scream again, just for fun. But the thing that follows makes us shut up immediately.
Roxy trows her broom to the side and runs to Owen, bowling him to the ground. And in one moment of my 'Oh my Havens' filling everyone's ears to the point of bleeding, Roxy kisses her Captain.
A heavy silence falls upon the pitch. My mouth drops to the floor as I stare at the scene before me. It doesn't take long for the whole crowd to go absolutely wild. Roxy then must have realized where she is as she jumps up fiercly. She says something to Owen that we can not hear and runs off.
I'm sorry. But...
* * *
"Oh my Snitch! Oh my Snitch!"
We find Roxy freaking out in the first toilet. She's pacing around still in her gear, all wet from the rain, and holdig her head like she's afraid it'll fall off because of her crazy thoughts.
She suddenly stops and eyes us in clear panic.
"Did I just do that?! Did I just kiss my Captain?!"
"You most certainly did!" Lee laughs. "I bow to you, Roxy. Would you be my mentor?"
Roxy screams. I glare at Lee. She mouths a silent 'sorry'. But she looks too entertainted for me to believe that she really is.
"This can't be happening. It must be a dream. Yeah! That's it!"
She turns to me. "Tell me, Dora. Tell me I didn't do that."
I shake my head. Roxy screams again and sits on the cold floor, sighing deeply. Charlie and I sit on both of her sides.
"I'm such an idiot. Why did I do that?" She stares somewhere in front of herself.
"Well, one reason pops into my mind." Lee looks at her.
Roxy turns to her, hesitating. And I know why.
Charlie beams. "You. Like. Him."
Roxy stutters. "N-no. NO! No, I don't!"
Lee and I look at each other and suddenly burst into laughter.
"Why are you laughing?! This is not funny! This is serious!"
"Oh my Havens, Roxy! If you could see youself saying all this, you'd know why."
"You're the worst friends!" She gets up to leave.
"Wait!" I stop her near the door.
She doesn't even have the nerve to look at me. So unlike her. That's when I realize exactly how torn Roxy is.
I smile at her with warmth. "Roxanne Weasley, let me tell you. Honestly, I never noticed that you like Owen..."
"That's because I don't!"
"And I realize it's because I've been a lousy friend and too much into my own problems. But you hid it pretty good, too. Since Lee didn't notice either."
"I didn't hide it or... whatever!" Roxy says trying to sound sure of herself. "It-it-it was just an impuls!"
Needless to say, I don't buy it.
"Now, come to think of it... You always say Owen's a great guy."
"That doesn't mean I like him." Roxy snorts.
"Oh, but it does." I nod my head at her. "In your twisted 'Guys are hidious!' world, it does mean exactly that. Why don't you just admit it to yourself?"
I pat her shoulder lightly.
She looks away. "I... I can't be in love with him. He's... Owen. He's your brother." She finally gazes at Charlie, unsure.
"So?" Lee looks at her puzzled.
"You don't mind?" Roxy mutters under her breath.
Lee laughes. "I actually think it's great!"
Roxy shakes her head, clearly lost.
"Wait!" Lee glances at her even more confused. "Don't tell me you liked him all along but didn't say anything because of me?"
Roxy tries to utter something. But as that fails, she chooses to stare at the floor. Very smooth, may I say.
"Dear Merlin!" Charlie exclaims and goes to hug Roxy laughing. "You silly girl!"
"You're not mad?" Roxy says, her voice barely over a whisper.
Which is weird since she tends to yell most of the time.
Lee shakes her head smiling and than shrieks. "Oh! Just imagine the wedding! Well, I already know how it's going to be. Since I'm going to be the one planning it! Gah! This is so brilliant!"
Roxy looks at me with pure horror. I laugh again, leaning on the wall and crossing my arms contently.
Roxy's in love. I didn't know this day would come so fast. Thinking about it now, there were always these little signs... I'm surprised I didn't realize before.
If I'm so blind to all things love, how will I see the dream guy? Or will he find me? I know they say that the best things are unseen. But, in order to find him, I know. I need to open my eyes. And, what's even harder, open my heart for him.
* * *
"Roxanne Jillian Weasley!" A strong voice comes from down the hallway.
"Oh, no." Roxy covers her face with her palms as if that'll somehow make her invisible.
Her two years older brother Fred strolls beside our table and puts a hand on her shoulder. He takes the newest edition of 'Hogwarts Daily' and trows it in front of her. The fresh headline done by Marilyn is really hard to miss. Since I'm sure it is printed in the biggest font possible.
ROXANNE WEASLEY ATTACKS HER CAPTAIN
Roxy lets out a yelp and hides her head between her arms resting on the table.
"Blimey, sis. And here I am, thinking that I'm the love god in our family." Fred smirks, his dark eyes lighting up.
"Al, can I borow your invisibility cloack?" Roxy mumbles, her head still in her hands.
"What?" Al mutters. "I-I-I don't have it here. It's..."
"Fine! Be a muff." She picks her head up.
Fred pats her back once again. "Roxy, let me present to you a few simple rules of dating..."
Roxy shoots a dark look at him. "Don't you dare."
He gulps. Roxy stands up. I can see Owen gazing at her from across the room.
"Have they talked yet?" I whisper to Lee, nodding my head slightly at her brother.
"Not really." Lee whispers back. "I tried to speak to Owen but he ignores me completely. I think he's just, you know, major embarrassed. The last time a girl kissed him, when he was eight, he locked himself up in his closet, refusing to leave it for two straight days."
"Why didn't you just use Alohomora?" I ask, confused.
Lee shrugs. "Mum and dad said it was best we let him go. And he eventually got out from the closet by himself."
"What a method." I'm amazed.
"To say that he's shy would be just... an out of this world underestimation. He gets totally weird around girls who're into him." Lee elaborates further more.
I frown. "Are you sure you two are even related?"
"Well, guys. I'm gonna leave." Roxy turns to her brother cutting our discussion short. "Fred, if you even try to say something about this to mum and dad, you know what's going to happen, right?"
Fred nods slowly, a trace of fear in his dark gaze.
Roxy smiles and twirls around determined not to look at where Owen's seated. Or at anyone else, for that matter. She walks out, her head held high.
"She seems to be taking it rather well." I note.
"Well, you know Roxy. She'd rather die than show weakness." Lee states.
In that, we're the same.
* * *
I attempt to write an essay in our dormitory. But Marilyn just keeps reminding me why I do this at the library. She's laughing with her friend about something. Probably a poor girl who hasn't done anything to her but she's still about to make her life a living hell. All the girls at Hogwarts are that girl. She despises us all. Well, maybe not her 'friend'. But I seriously doubt that, too.
Just as I'm about to leave for the library, Lee returns from her meeting. I spot a yellow envelope in her hand.
"For you, ma cherie."
I smile at her French. It's rather good, actually. Charlie is good at that. She has traveled the world, you know.
As soon as I touch the paper, I notice it isn't regular but it has a strange oily feel to it.
"Scorp asked me to give you that." Lee says before heading to the bathroom for a hot shower.
I notice that Marilyn's watching my every move. Like a volture. I decide to ignore her and open the letter.
My little sis,
You know how unrequited love can hurt. So I trust you to help me with this. Come to the RoR today at six o'clock. And bring Lee and Roxy along. The more, the better. Love.
Marilyn stares at me and the letter with hunger. I get my wand and set the paper on fire. Marilyn gasps in horror. I bet that's the most emotion she has shown in her entire life. And it's for a piece of paper!
I smirk and continue writing, enjoying the rare silence.
But soon enough, the two of them start chatting again. I presume about me. And how Marilyn needs to dig out something even more monstrous about me. Well, until then, I'm just going to cherish my peace.
* * *
I don't really have pleasent memories of the Room. I was here only on two occasions. Both times for a party.
I know, shocker. Dora Dursley, hater of all crowded spaces, on a party. Twice.
In my defense, it was Scorp's birthday. And then Al's. But after my oh so lovely experiences, I was convinced I'd never do anything similar again. Ever.
And now here I am. In the Room. And what's even more astonishing... I'm actually enjoying it a bit. Gotta hand it to Scorp, he certainly knows how to set up a mood. Practically, the room screams 'relax'. With lazy bags in the corners, lots of colorful pillows, couches and beds, It's clear why I feel like it's a chilling out convention.
It then occurs to me that Roxy, Lee and I are the last ones to come abroad. Al and Scorp are muttering something in front of a big blackboard, Hugo, Lily and Alice are laughing about something seated on one of the yellow couches, Rose's best friends Lucy Weasley and Ayesha Page are exploring the Room and Faldo is just... Being Faldo, I guess.
We take place beside him, on the lazy bags.
"This won't end up good, will it?" I sigh.
"Why would you say that?" Alice winks at me.
I sttuter. "What do you mean?"
She giggles. "Nothing."
She winks at me again and turns to her friends before I have the chance to explore the meaning of her words.
Oh, Havens! I'm not cut out for this!
"Have you got any clue what this is all about?" Roxy asks Faldo curiously.
He shakes his head. "I know it's about Rose. But that's all."
"Guys, guys!" Scorpius interrupts us with a huge smile plastered on his face.
He sighs contently before continuing. "I'd like to thank you all for coming. And wanting to help. Trust me, you won't regret it, since it's an epic project."
"Project?" I raise my eyebrow.
"Oh, right." Scorp smiles like he just remembered something.
He uses his wand to write three big words on the black surface of the board.
We all slowly read the name.
"The Soulmate Project?" I say it aloud, frowning.
Scorp nods his head furiously.
"I'm sorry?" Faldo mirrors my action and also frowns, confused.
Al steps to his best mate and puts a hand on his shoulder, beaming. "Guys, the game begins! We are going to get Scorpius and Rose together!"
A dead silence fills the Room. I'm pretty sure I can hear someone's heartbeat. Wait... Yeah, it's just mine.
The dead air threatens to suffocate me. Until Charlie claps her hands loudly.
"Oh, this is so romantic!" She squeals.
Of course. What a surprise.
I put my palm over my eyes, shaking my head. I thought at least Al would see reason. But no. He's just as insane as Scorpis at this point. And what am I left with? I have to agree with Faldo! That's how bad the situation is. Oh, Havens. Why do I hang out with these people?
"This is just... Pathetic." I let out a deep sigh.
"Why are you so negative?" Alice asks me supporting her jaw with her hands.
"Yeah!" Lee agrees happily. "Scorpius is a great guy! Rose will see it, too."
Alice smiles at me again in that 'I know things you don't even dream of.' way.
Havens, it's so not fair!
"Blue is just pointing out the fact that Scorpius is doing this whole thing the wrong way. He should just pick up the courage and tell Rose how he feels. Not scheme out a whole plan that's taking away our time. And for what? So that Rose may end up thinking he's some kind of a stalker?"
Like in slow motion, I turn to Faldo, my jaw dropping to the floor. Well, not literally. That's just not physically possible.
Okey, so maybe you already knew that...
And what's surreal is that Faldo doesn't even seem like he's laughing at me. He looks... Honest. Completely and utterly... sincere.
I'm just too close to smiling. "That's exactly what I was thinking! How-"
And then Al and Scorp interrupt the moment as they go on to explain the project. But I can't listen. Suddenly, I feel as if I've been trown into this room with all these people. But the only one I see is Faldo.
Since when can he read my mind? Or are we just not so different as I believed all these years?
I take another look at him and realize for the first time since I've known him that...
Faldo is possibly not that bad after all.
Oh, I am so going crazy, am I?
Another A/N: So I know I said this was my favourite chapter. But the part that I really like had to be cut out. I'm saving it for the next chapter.
Please, don't kill me. Look at it this way. If you do, you'll never find out the end of this story. :P
I hope I'll be done with the next chapter at least as fast as with the previous ones. So stay tuned! ;)
Chapter 8: Parties Suck
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A/N: So, this chapter has some pretty emotional and dramatic scenes. At least for Dora. I hope you enjoy what I wrote. :D Tell me what you think!
Disclaimer: Do not own Harry Potter. Nor his fictional mates.
Oh, and the few lines of 'Blue Eyes' is just something I thought up for the story. So it is mine. Yeah, it's suckish but what can you do. :)
October strolled in carelessly, carrying all of it's colors. I always loved October. That's the only good side of global warming. October in England is no longer rainy and boring, but the most beautiful month of the year. I just have to be careful to never mention an up side of global warming to Charis Wood. I don't think I would walk alive from that conversation.
It is one of those days when you forget how much you hate hanging out and embrace your inner nature freak. And what am I doing on a day like that? Well, listening to Lee and Charlie bicker again, of course! I have to give them credit this time, though. It's actually over something valid.
"So, I was thinking... When you and Owen get together..."
"I'm sorry?" Roxy mumbles in spite of her mouth being full of food.
Lee titles her head to the side slightly, as if wondering what she said or did wrong.
She probably is wondering.
Oh, well, why not? It is Charlie.
"You're not joking, are you?" Roxy stares at her in disbelief.
"Why would I be?" Charlie frowns, confused.
Roxy turns to me, the most horrified expression on her face.
"We won't get together, Lee." Roxy eyes her darkly.
Charlie has this weird innocence to her. I know, I know. Charlie? But it's true. No matter how dirty her mind is sometimes, she is still a big believer. In almost everything you would never imagine is even real. But that's Lee for you. And that's why she doesn't see a problem with Roxy and Owen getting together. Even though he has girls-who-are-into-me phobia and Roxy... Well. I don't know. It's actually still a bit surprising she's not into girls. I'd support her either way. Come on, people, it's the year 2022! Loosen up!
"Have you been living under a rock or something?"
Charlie doesn't get the opportunity to provide us with an answer (Which I'm sure would be an... interesting one.), because a certain someone jumps in first.
"Well, hello, my juicy lady." Yes, he did just say juicy.
Roxy sighs and rolls her eyes. She twirls so to face Oscar who just strolled to our seats.
He is looking even bigger than usual. It's scary, I have to admit. I'm not the type that likes big guys. I like tall, slender guys, with just a fine amount of muscles. Like...
I glance at Louis who happens to be sitting alone today. The light crawling in through the glass, makes wondrous movements on his face. In his deep eyes.
But then it hits me. Where's Dawn? They're like glued to each other most of the time. Needless to say, I don't enjoy the fact.
"Bugger off. I'm busy." Roxy continues eating her highly unhealthy meal and interrupts yet another one of my daydreams.
"Ah, what a spunk! I love it!" Oscar goes for her cheek, but Roxy successfully avoids his palm.
"Look, McLaggen, we can chat like this for hours. But I'm still going to say no!"
"You don't even know what I was about to ask you."
"I-don't-care!" Roxy hisses through greeted teeth.
"It doesn't matter. I still think you'll say yes."
"Will you go to Hogsmead with me?" He beams at her, full of hope.
I turn to Roxy, a pitiful look on my face. She glares at me.
I guess that's definitively a no.
"The Hogsmead trips don't even start until December! That's two months from now!"
"I just want to make sure no one else gets to you first." He sends her a knowing look.
But it's apparently lost on her. "What?"
"Well... You and Wood. Everyone's talking about it." Oscar's voice drops.
Even though he's a stalker through and through, I kind of feel for him.
"Listen to me, McLaggen." Roxy walks to him and pokes him in the chest.
I wonder if it hurts. Since his chest looks like a hard stone.
"There is nothing between me and Owen! Nothing!" Her last words echo throughout the Hall.
More than just a few heads turn to her. Roxy breaths heavily for a moment than picks up her books and storms off.
I stand up to follow her but Lee stops me. Just when I'm about to ask why, I get my answer.Owen stands up and runs after her.
I look at Charlie in amazement and she smiles.
But then I glance at Oscar. His eyes are darker and his lower lip is shaking a bit.
"I guess that's a firm no then."
I suddenly feel a great urge to console him. Until...
"Hey, Potter!" He yells across the room at my little cousin.
Lily stops talking to Alice for a second and stares at him, confused.
"Fancy going to Hogsmead with me?!"
I guess jerks will always be jerks.
* * *
"So?" I ask Charlie as she walks into our room.
She shakes her head.
I moan disappointed and sit on my bed. "What happened?"
"Nothing. That's the problem. He's still Owen and she's still Roxy." She shrugs.
"But I though..."
"He wasn't running after her. He was running away."
"Man, you're brother's a muff." I exclaim.
"Look who's talking." She fires back.
"But on another note..."
Lee pulls out a letter from her pocket.
Wait... Since when do our robes have pockets? That's right... they don't. Charlie sometimes outpasses even herself. Which is really hard to do.
"Another one?" I take the letter, examining it.
"We're having a meeting tonight. Ayesha and Lucy apparently made the list."
I sigh. "How much?"
"About forty." Charlie sighs too.
But in a happy, optimistic way. How come she's always so positive?
I sometimes think that it's just too weird that the two of us are so good friends. It's like the Grinch and Santa decided to become butterbear buddies. Yeah, I know they're muggles. But, honestly, they are not even real in the first place. So why even bother correcting me.
And... guess who the Grinch is.
* * *
"Number 27. Rose likes lilies. Yeah, I already knew that. Remember, Al? I said it was somehow ironic that Rose likes lilies and Lily doesn't. She's just so amazing, isn't she?"
Mind you, this has been going on for one hour already. And I'm sick of it. I love Scorpius. But I think I appreciate the 'hiding his feelings for Rose' Scorpius more than this one. The romantic, love-struck, daydreaming Scorpius just freaks me out.
I know, I'm horrible.
So, Lucy and Ayesha have composed a list with all these little facts about Rose. Actually, everyone pitched in. I didn't do much. Rose and I aren't exactly the best of friends. But we know each other. And I like her. Now even more with all the things I've found out about her.
I'm pretty proud of Scorpius' taste. Rose's not that typical blond bimbo type all the boys seem to have hots for these days. I am blond (Thanks to my dad's genes.). But I'm a Ravenclaw, too. So I don't fall into that category. Plus, I'm freakishly tall. Or so Faldo says.
Argh, enough with Faldo, brain!
Back to Rose.
Right. So, where was I? Yeah. Rose is quite petite, just like her mother, with Hugo being tall and slender, on the contrary. Her hair is frizzy and fiery red, usually tied in a wild ponytail. Her pointed nose is covered in specks. At first, you'd think, nothing special. But Rose Weasley simply has that something that makes her pretty and lovable. From the few talks we had, I myself fell under her charm. So I completely understand Scorp. But what I don't understand is this situation. And writing down a list which will supposedly help him win Rose over. I expected more of Scorp.
And Al! I know he's all considerate and supportive. But seriously, mate!
It's like no one understands me. Except for Faldo. And this is what scares me the most. We shouldn't be agreeing so much. It's just not... healthy!
"Number 29. Rose likes children." Scorpius sighs. "I always knew we're meant to be. Seriously! We have everything in common!"
"Scorp, you yelled at that little girl back at Diagon Alley." I remind him, my eyebrow raised.
"She was wearing a clown mask!" Scorpius shrieks. "They freak me out!"
"Clowns are supposed to make you laugh." Faldo informs.
"I will never understand your muggle ways!" Scorpius twirls around to the board, ignoring both me and Faldo.
I snicker. Faldo tries to cover up a laugh, too. I glance at him for a second. Then I remember something concerning him that I rarely think about.
Faldo's mum is a muggle. She, according to Al, from whom I've heard the story, is a professor at University of East London. She is one very smart woman. You're probably wondering how she met Faldo's dad, the ultimate Quidditch star? Well, I am, too. Faldo's not very talkative about his family. What I know is that his mother was some kind of a wunderkind. And I guess preppy. From whom else could he get that? Maybe that's why he thinks he's some kind of a god? Ok, I went too far there. But really, he should grow a pair of legs instead of those wings he has been flying to the clouds with.
I turn to the sound of the alarmed scream only to see Scorpius staring at the number 30 from the list.
"She likes boys who play musical instruments?!" Scorpius yelps. "I didn't know that about her!"
"Well... Now you know." Lucy shrugs, not seeing what the big deal is.
"She's really into Saimon Reese, too." Ayesha explains further, gesticulating with her hands wildly which I find endearing on her. "Dorian used to sing his songs to her, since he didn't play either. But she always said that if a guy played her 'Blue Eyes', she'd kiss him no matter who he was. And probably fall madly in love with him on the spot."
"Rose just keeps amazing me." Roxy snorts.
"Roxanne." Lee warns her, glaring with her sometimes scary chocolate eyes.
Roxy smirks, not showing any regret.
"How am I supposed to learn to do that?!" Scorpius, on the contrary, starts maniacally pacing around the Room. "I don't even know the names of the notes!"
A small but clearly intentional cough interrupts Scorpius' freak moment. We all turn to look at Faldo who is apparently the owner of the silent 'ahem'.
"Yes, Drake?" Al raises his eyebrows and crosses his arms, curious as to what his other best friends has to report.
Wow, I always forget that's his name. And it's kind of cool, too. I never noticed that before.
Nah. He's always going to be Faldo to me.
He clears his throat. "I... I play the piano a little."
"You do?" I naturally let out a strong laugh.
"Seriously..." I shake my head. "No."
"Why not?" He gloats at me.
"Because... You're... Faldo."
"And... What, that's not self-explanatory?" I raise an eyebrow.
"No." He looks at me with a blank expression on his face.
Pff! Like I'm not used to those.
"You're kidding, right?" I laugh again. "You can't be playing."
At that Faldo lifts himself up and goes to the center of the Room. Glaring at me, he looks like he's concentrating on something else, too. Soon enough, a beautiful black piano appears in the middle of the room. Faldo sits down and takes one deep breath. Then, he closes his eyes.
As his fingers run over the keys lightly, a familiar sound echoes throughout the room. And he sings. His body is swaying in the rhythm of the sound. But it's a slow, romantic song. Secretly, one of my favourites. Every world, magical or not, has it's own sensational cute-boy pop star. And Saimon Reese happens to be ours. He's a guilty pleasure. One even the best of us are not able to resist. Just look at Roxy. Humming the song with her eyes closed. That little hypocrite.
I gaze at Faldo mastering the piano, while letting myself float with the words I know by heart...
And you can't Accio love
Can't Imperio him to see
How magical you'll always be...
The moment Faldo stops, I feel like something is stolen from me. I look up at him. Faldo looks back. He doesn't seem angry, though. He just turns away too quickly.
"Chill, mate..." Scorpius walks up to him. "I don't know what to say... I'm impressed!"
"It's nothing, really." Faldo shrugs. " Mum used to go to music school when she was younger so I wanted to learn, too."
"You're good. No, actually, you're..."
"If you say magnificent, I don't respond for myself."
I let out a small chuckle which goes unnoticed by the rest of the gang.
"I only know a few songs. Nothing big." He continues steadily. "My cousin Layla's a big Reese fan. She made me learn it. She's rather annoying about him."
Well, there you go. Something actually annoys him. I guess I can no more speculate that he's a human robot.
He then smiles running a hand over the keys, absent-minded.
And what was that?
"Mate, you're brilliant. Honestly. Will you teach me?" Scorpius pleads, pouting his mouth.
Why does he remind me of Lee so much right now?
Scorp's really girly sometimes. But that's just a part of his charm, I guess. He doesn't forcefully try to be manly all day long. Did I mention that I adore that boy? I wish every guy is like him. Except for the whole, you know, plan-making part. And the over-enthusiasm. It kind of becomes too much after a while.
Faldo smirks. "I guess I don't have other options."
"No, you don't." Scorpius nods his head sternly.
"Then I'm in."
They do that half-hug-half-handshake thing that boys seem to enjoy so much.
Faldo then stands up and goes back to sit beside me. But he doesn't smirk at me. Actually, he doesn't even look at me. And all I can do is that. Well, that and remembering his voice and the words that so many girls wish Saimon would sing just for them.
I gaze at the floor, my body weightless. My head filled with a big nothing. But my heart, only my heart, is constraining. I place my palm over it, wondering why.
I glance at Faldo again. And for a brief moment, our eyes meet. Blue on blue. Like always.
And yet somehow...
Like never before.
* * *
I tried. I really did. But that's the whole point. 'Cause when I do Transfiguration, I don't need to try. It just comes naturally.
I amaze myself, and not in a good way, when my toad turns into this weird mutated toad-pad thingy.
"Oh, cool. A toad-cushion." Lee beams at it with love.
I glance at her, feeling a little sick. Of course, it has to be partly because of my nonexistent breakfast this morning. But I'm pretty sure it has something to do with Charlie's fondness for all things twisted and wrong, too.
Professor Aeldra walks to our desk, a startled look on her face.
"Miss Dursley, what is this?" She points her wand at my... hm, invention.
"I'm sorry, Professor. My concentration is not at it's best." I lower my head so I don't have to meet her disappointed gaze.
Professor Aeldra is a great teacher. Even though everybody says that our Headmistress is unbeatable in the area of Transfiguration. I'm disappointed never had the opportunity to be her student. But, like I said, our professor is all right, too. And she always praises me for my ability to pull off even the most advanced transifurations. Well, I was able to. Now, it seems, everything is falling apart.
"I'm sending you to the Transfiguration Convention this year, Dora. And now you do this?"
Oh, the disappointed look. How I detest thee.
The Transfiguration Convention is kind of my dream. I never knew I'd be into school stuff this much. I always pictured myself living in the woods with animals and exploring the wild life.
Ok, so that was my dream when I was nine. Hm, maybe it's time I have a new one.
"Please concentrate, Miss Dursley. Or I'll be forced to take points from Ravenclaw."
"I will." I nod.
The always stern looking Professor Aeldra walks away, the sound of her small heels echoing through the silent classroom.
"Are you ok, Dora?" Ophelia Norton smiles when I turn to her.
"Um, yeah. I think so."
She smiles at me with even more warmth. "Don't listen to her. Everyone has a bad day. It was bound to happen."
I turn back to Lee who is trying and failing at making her toad resemble a flowery pad.
I lean on the table, huffing. I never felt so off.
What is wrong with me?
* * *
As my gaze wonders to Louis at lunch, I notice that he is sitting all alone. Again. I frown and try to think of a reason why. But something else decides to dominate my mind instead. It's... Louis and those mesmerizing eyes of his. Why is he so... ? I don't know... Easy to adore.
I sigh. At that point he picks up his head and our glances clash in a unreadable way. I manage to smile at him. He does the same.
That's when Roxy walks to us, complete in her gear and with her Silver Storm in her right hand. Her hair is messy to the max and her face covered in dirt. She is closely followed by a couple of other Gryffindors, including Owen, who apparently didn't have the strength to even change before the meal. Lucky us.
"I'm starving!" Roxy takes a plate and Accios a rather big (even for her) piece of fried chicken.
"Rough training?" I ask with sympathy.
"Always." She muffles, a smile creeping to her lips.
What a masochist.
I stare at my food with no appetite what so ever.
"Rough day?" Roxy returns.
"Is it because of Faldo?"
"WHAT?! NO! Where did you get that idea from?!"
Roxy blinks, startled. Lee just gazes at me, not making a sound.
"Wow, Dee. Take it easy." Roxy eyes me intensely.
"Sure." Roxy chuckles. "Anyway, you've been acting weird all week. And if I remember correctly, it started at the Soulmate Meeting."
What the heck? That no good for anything gathering has a name? And what the heck second? I'm not acting weird. Am I? When you think about it, I already am weird. So it's normal for me to act weird. What is Roxy babbling on about? I'm totally chilled.
Just when I'm about to reply, Fred Weasley enters the Hall with many of his Gryffindor mates, carrying a bunch of papers.
"Everyone! Party at ten tomorrow! In the RoR! Free butterbeer and more!" He winks at the crowd.
A few giggles are heard. Roxy rolls her dark eyes in annoyance.
"Deprimo!" Her brother then yells while pointing his wand at the pile of papers and a strong wind scatters them around the Hall.
"Show off." Roxy snorts but still Accios one of the parchaments.
She clears her throat and reads it out loud.
"Get your arse to our party or we'll Mobilicorpus you there! Looking forward to your attendance,
Fred Weasley & James Potter."
"Why am I not surprised?" Roxy shakes her head.
"Oh, come on, Roxy. It'll be fun." Charlie beams.
"Your idea of fun is more off than Dee is this week." Roxy smirks at me.
I frown. "I'm not off."
"So, we're going to the party then!?" Lee hugs me esthetically. "Wicked!"
"No buts! You promised!"
I open my mouth, but she shuts me up with her embrace again. I still see Roxy sniggering from behind her, though.
I can smell it from afar of. The smell of my own doom.
Sweet Havens, this won't end up good.
* * *
Fuck. Fuck. And fuck again. Why did I agree to this?
Yes, I know I said I don't want to miss this, as in-being there for my friends. But it's just another party. Seriously. I already know what's going to happen. And I don't need Alice for that. The music is going to get louder and louder as the evening progresses, the people will get drunker-therefore, more idiotic (Like they weren't enough already.) and it will all end up in a fight. Yes, there's always a fight. It's a scheme not one party has failed to follow.
Have I mentioned that I hate parties?
"Aren't you going to start dressing up?" Lee glances at me, confused, her eyes barely visible from all the mascara.
"I am dressed." I correct her.
"Really?" She examines me, unconvinced.
I frown at her.
"'Cause... that tracksuit looks great on you!" Charlie smiles with her thumbs up.
I roll my eyes.
"If I agreed to go, it doesn't mean I agreed to go for it. If you know what I mean."
Charlie twirls. "I actually rarely do."
I laugh. Charlie just shrugs.
At nine forty five we exit the dorm and meet up with Roxy in the Hall.
I eye her.
"Did you put make up on?"
"What?" She stutters. "Um, no, no. You're just seeing things."
"I bet." I smirk to myself, suppressing a chuckle.
As we near the RoR, I'm surprised that there is no noise coming from it. Usually, Fred's parties always start two hours earlier.
"Something's off." I examine the spot where the door should be.
"You mean, besides you?" Roxy snickers.
"Ok, sorry." She bites her lips so she doesn't slip another laugh.
I walk in front of the Room and after three times pacing up and down, the door finally appears.
"Well, worst night of my life round three, here we go."
I take the lock and slowly open the door, Lee and Roxy giggling (?!) from behind me.
I'm suddenly strangled with dozens of embraces. Some are from people I know and others from people I have never seen in my life.
But when a certain blond haired boy runs to me, it hits me. Hard.
"Happy sixteenth birthday, Dora!"
Crap, crap, crap. Major crap.
Every time Scorpius is involved in my birthday celebration, it turns into something bad. Not like parties don't suck to begin with. You think I'm overreacting? Just wait.
"Isn't it great?! It was my idea, of course, but the others helped too, I guess." He shrugs.
I take Scorpius by his arm and tear him from the crowd into a slightly less crowded space. After casting a Muffliato, I hiss at him. "What is this?"
"Um... Your birthday party?" He offers.
"Scorpius, what were you thinking?! You know I hate parties!"
"Oh, come on. That was so last year." He rolls his bright eyes at me.
"NO! It's every year! I hate parties. The end!"
"Just like you hate Quidditch, no?" Scorpius smiles at me.
Bugger. I should have known he would use that against me someday.
"Come on, Dee. Live a little. Enjoy yourself. No one's going to eat you. Not after what James did for you, anyway. Besides, you're the birthday girl. Maybe I can grant you a wish, too." He winks at me.
"You'll see." He pats my shoulder and disappears into the crowd.
Great. Just... perfect.
After around half an hour, I find myself sitting in the only deserted corner of the Room. I sigh while watching the all too familiar party scenario unravel. Why are teenagers so fascinated with parties?
I'll never get it.
Suddenly Al settles down next to me, his face flushed. "Wicked party!"
"Sure." I nod my head.
He gazes at me and laughs. "You're some birthday girl, Dora."
"My pleasure." I force a lame smile.
Then, suddenly realizing that Al and Scorpius are all alone, a thought occurs to me. "Hey, so where's Faldo? I don't think I saw him with you."
"Oh." Al's smile melts. "He said he has to study."
"Well, you always say he annoys you. Aren't you relieved that he's not here?" Al raises an eyebrow at me.
"Of course... I am. It was just a question, anyway." I shrug.
"Hey, Al!" Lucy yells at him from the bar. "Firewhisky, Weasley style! You in?"
"Always!" He screams and then turns to me. "I..."
"Argh, just go." I wave my hand and in a second, he's already gone.
I spot Lee dancing with Sam and his girlfriend Ida grimly watching them from the side. And Roxy is no where to be seen.
Maybe this is another reason why I hate parties. I somehow always end up alone.
After a while (A very long while from where I'm standing. Or rather, sitting.) I decide I need my time out. Birthday girl or not, it's not like anyone's going to miss me.
I exit the Room, finally breathing normally. It's just with all the people dancing and fooling around, shoving each other, I feel like I'm trapped there. I really need a walk.
My feet take me to the Ravenclaw common room. It's probably deserted. I never saw so many people on a Hogwarts party before. Don't imagine things. It's all because of Fred and James. Even though Scorp's plans always end in a disaster, they usually begin spectacularly.
I'm pretty sure everyone's there. After I mutter the password and enter, though, I remember. Everyone except Faldo.
"Blue?" He shuts a book that he has been looking at (Of course.) and frowns at me. "What are you doing here?"
Suddenly, my always burning desire to return inventively is replaces by something else. And it slightly freaks me out. But weird enough, I let it roll.
"I hate parties." I say quietly.
He gazes at me blankly.
"I hate surprises." I add.
Faldo doesn't say a thing at first, like he wants to let it all sink in. But after a second or so he does answer. "They are your friends, Blue. Do it for them."
"Then why are you here?" I glance at him daringly.
It comes out before I even think about it for real.
"What do you mean?"
But then again, I feel as if it's all been leading to this. Faldo helping me against my will, but still helping me, and me realizing that we aren't so dramatically different as I thought. Like I said, I don't believe in the lining of stars. But something about this feels strangely close to that.
"I mean, shouldn't a friend be there for another friend? Isn't that what you are trying to teach me anyway?"
He blinks at me, startled. I understand him. I've startled myself. But it's time.
Faldo stands up slowly and takes a few steps toward me. "What did you just say?"
I meet his eyes, those annoying icy eyes. And all of a sudden, they don't seem so cold to me.
"Please don't make me say it again." I huff.
His lips turn into a small smile and then he lets out a laugh. A warm, sincere laugh. But he doesn't say anything. He just gazes at me.
I feel for a second as if I've been transported into an alternate reality. 'Cause, seriously, after all... What the heck am I doing?
But my mouth (Or my heart?) doesn't listen to my brain, as I mutter: "So, are you coming to the party or what?"
He smiles again and nods his head. "Just a sec."
Faldo rushes to his book. And in a split of a second, I swear, I think I read 'My Album' on it. I blink.
But Faldo's already running up the stairs to his dorm.
I don't even have time to proceed what I just experienced, when Faldo comes back. Wearing a... tracksuit.
I raise an eyebrow at him.
"I hate parties, too." He explains and I hide one huge smile as we walk through the Ravenclaw entrance.
Curious as it is, walking with Faldo in silence, just the two of us, it doesn't feel awkward at all. Nor annoying. Actually, especially not annoying. Which is a little scary. But hey, I wanted this. So I should just swim with the flow, right? So what if I still don't know how to handle this particular water? I'll figure it out eventually.
As I feel Faldo's look burning me slightly, I stare at the floor.
Ok. This is still a little weird. Come on. It's Faldo, Dora! What have you gotten yourself into?!
But his smell suits me, calming me down. He smells like a frisky winter day. I never noticed that before. And I love winter. Even though October will forever be my favourite month of the year.
As my head is rilling from the recent events, an idea hits me. I have no clue if it's a good one. But I just have a great urge to pursue it.
I stop in my tracks and Faldo mirrors me.
"Hey, since we both hate parties, why don't we just balk?" I suggest.
"What do you have in mind?"
* * *
"So this is your hide out spot?" Faldo looks around he Owlery, like it's for the first time, taking it all in.
He then finally takes his seat across from me and glances at the night sky. I gaze at him, noticing the cold in his eyes melting and taking a darker shade of blue.
Faldo slowly turns to me and sighs.
"I need to tell you something."
I frown, curious, then nod.
Faldo looks away yet again and I can feel his hesitation. But it's quickly replaced with a sharp determination. So Faldo-like.
I stare at him, expectation rising in my stomach. And then, something changes. The way his look dives into the depth of mine, the way the light breeze is playing with his dark locks, the way his lips seem like they want to share a big truth with me, just me. The warmth going up and down my spine, the trembling in my hart and the flutter in my stomach. I look up at him again. That feeling from the Room returning. But bigger, harder, warmer.
"I'm sorry." He finally utters.
I blink. "What?"
"I'm sorry I yelled back at you, Blue. If I didn't, this annoyance between us would've never existed."
I frown, not comprehending his words and what he's trying to tell me.
"You... you don't remember?" He hesitates again.
"First year, second semester, the Great Hall. Ring any bells?" He tries again, his will back.
I scan his face, confused. What is he on?
But then it flashes in front of my eyes, like it was always there but I suppressed it.
Deep. It's one of those things you bury beneath layers of memories, just to not stumble upon it. 'Cause it's not a pretty one. No, it's one of those memories that shows you just how enormously imperfect you are. And no one likes to be reminded of that. I don't care what you say. It's true.
And it all worked. It never surfaced back. Until now.
The twenty second of January, 2019
"So how was seeing your parents after so much time apart?" Al asked me, while writing a letter to his parents.
It was getting annoying. He was so immature. Seriously. He just had to write every week. Not that I was jealous that I didn't have that opportunity. Al was just... a crybaby. Is all.
But still, Albus was my only real friend. His cousin Roxy insisted that we hang. And even though I thought it would be cool to have her as a mate, I still wasn't feeling it. And my classmates... Ok, there was this girl... Wood. She was kind of silly in a refreshingly likeable way. But that was it.
"Yeah, it was fine. I mean, I love them. But they can be a real pain in the arse sometimes."
Drake, who was silently eating an astonishing healthy meal (Seriously, I envied him. I wished I could eat so many vitamins willingly.), suddenly glanced at me.
"What?" I asked, confused.
He shook his head. "Nothing."
And then, of course, James had to ruin my life again.
He strolled to us, fire burning in his brown eyes.
"Look at little Dursley here!" He smirked and said loud enough for everyone to hear. "Back from Hell and your Devil father?"
Yes, he was very original. But it still hurt. And that day, more so than usually.
"Stop it James!" Al stood up and shoved his brother.
"My own brother! Turning against me because of her?!"
"At least Al has the guts to fight! Unlike you!" I screamed, completely loosing it.
It happened with James. A lot.
It was a split of a second. A flash.
Next thing I knew, I was laying on the ground and Drake was next to me, his lip bleeding.
I got up furiously and yelled whatever spell was on my mind at James.
Unfortunately, it was just Wingardium Leviosa.The only spell that struck me at that moment.
James laughed and walked away unscathed.
I was breathing heavily. It hurt so bad. And it was like a little piece of me wanted to kill him. But since he walked away, I senselessly turned to Drake.
"Who do you think you are?!" I yelled.
He was just getting up and cleaning the blood with his hand.
"What are you talking about, Dora?"
"Why did you jump in front of me?!" I could feel tears running down my cheeks. "I needed to fight him!"
Drake just stared at me.
All the anger I felt blew up inside of me at that one moment. Unfortunately, Drake was on the receiving end. To me, it didn't matter who it was. I just needed to insult back. Even if it was intended for James and he wasn't there.
"You can't control me! You think you're so much better because you're dad's famous?! Well, guess what!? You aren't! You're nothing but a little looser who will always live in his dad's shadow! And unlike Albus you don't have the talent to live up to it! You're nobody!"
I couldn't stop. I didn't really mean all those things. Even though Drake was a little stuck up. It just poured out.
And all I wanted to do is run away and scream until I go numb. That's when I felt his grip on my arm. It was a bit too tight. I gasped slightly.
Al stood up to his feet but I shook my head as a sign for him to stay out of it.
"And you?! You think nobody here likes you because of your bully dad? Well, guess what, Dora!? It's not true. It's because you're an ungrateful, cynical, whiny girl with no appeal what so ever. Maybe I'm spoiled, but I, unlike you, at least have real friends who are NOT my cousins. So guess who's going to end up alone from the two of us!?"
He stared at me for a second more and then released me roughly. I stumbled a few steps back. Drake took off and didn't look back. I wished I could do the same. I wished I could prove him that I wasn't whiny. I wished he wasn't telling the truth. Even though, from the ache in my heart, I knew very well that he was. So I did the only thing I could in that moment.
I ran. And ran. And hid so no one could see me cry. Ever again.
I wasn't aware that my insult would hurt him as bad as James' insults hurt me. I wasn't aware that this would turn Faldo into an annoying robot. I wasn't aware that it was all my fault. And Faldo just answered back. Like I wish I could have to James.
I meet Faldo's gaze, feeling dumb struck.
Who am I kidding? I'm just as bad as James was. Just as bad as my dad was, too. And funny how it was everything I wanted to run away from this whole time. I guess you can't do that with your genes.
Faldo's looking at me again. But I can't unriddle it. 'Cause everything I can think of right now is how I need to get out from here.
"It's getting really cold. We should... I should..."
I suddenly run out, not having the strength to finish my sentence. I hear Faldo's footsteps following mine perfectly. Why is he doing this? But I know why. I need to say it.
That's when I see him. My savior.
"There you are, Dora!" Scorpius appears out of no where and grabs me by my hand.
He pulls me to the party again.
He looks around the crowd and then spots his target. I do too.
"You'll thank me latter, sis." Scorpius winks at me and waves to Louis.
He then disappears before I have time to ask for an explanation.
My heart speeds up.
Louis, on the contrary, walks slowly to me.
"I was told you have a special wish." He smiles.
I think I might faint. Seriously, I see all kind of spots in front of me. Purple, blue, yellow... That can't be normal, right?
Louis takes my hand and I shiver. Suddenly, 'Blue eyes' comes on and all the happy couples start to dance. I stare at Louis, completely lost. My legs are shaking. I can't breath.
"Happy birthday, birthday girl." He whispers into my ear.
And we start to twirl around slowly.
I think I'm dreaming. It must be a dream. The things that happened today are just too surreal.
And then we turn around and I'm facing the door. My heart drops when I see Faldo watching us. No expression what so ever. I want to scream. But I can't. Or maybe it's just that I don't have the nerve.
Louis puts his hands on my waist and my body is trembling. But I can't think about him. Because, there's Faldo, haunting me with his blue eyes. With that hard look that's piercing through me.
And then... He leaves.
And I'm left with my dream guy.
It doesn't feel like a dream at all.
A/N: Sooo, my longest chapter to date. I hope I didn't bore you to death. I don't know how to revive people.
Ok, seriously, what do you think? Like? Hate? Favourite quotes? Love those! :D
I hope it was somewhat enjoyable. :)
Chapter 9: Friends It Is
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So, after a very long one, here comes a slightly shorter chapter. But there's a very important scene in it. :) So please read and enjoy. :D
Disclaimer: Don't own a thing!
Friends It Is
Knock, knock, knock.
I wave my hand over my head, like there is something rapping on my skull.
Knock, knock, knock.
I moan. Why is it that, when ever I decide I want to have a late start, something or someone interrupts me? Why is life so bloody mean to me?
Knock, knock, knock.
Guess the knocking sound doesn't care.
"Argh!" I sit myself up, my wild curls falling in my eyes. I blow them away. But with no use, as they just come back even more determined to annoy me.
I gaze around our dorm. Marilyn is absent. Not mysteriously, though. It's seven in the morning. It's time for 'her' paper to come out. I swear, if it was a possibility she would marry the bloody thing. I then take a glance at her 'friend'. She would be quite pretty if she wasn't so... I don't even have a word for it, really. Next to her bed is Ophelia's. I always envied her poise. She is so elegant. Even while sleeping. I frown and, before I drift into some very weird mind area, advert my gaze to one of my best friends. Lee is snoring loudly, her head reclined to a strange position. Saliva's dipping on her pillow, as her mouth is wide open. Well, at least there's one messy sleeper worse than me.
Knock, knock, knock.
I twirl to the sound only to spot a beautiful gray owl knocking on our window with her pecker. I immediately notice a small note attached to her tiny leg. Curious, I open the window and let the owl in. The animal stays still as I take the parchment and stroke her. At least animals still like me. I finally let her fly off and take a look at the note. I examine the handwriting which spells my name perfectly neat. But I haven't come across it before. My curiosity so grows even more with unwrapping the paper. And then...
My heart stops.
In spite of everything, I had fun last night. I hope it wasn't that bad for you either. Even though you had to walk out with Hugo's vomit on your shoes. (I stop to take a look at my shoes, displaced somewhere by the bathroom. Which makes me remember my own vomiting of last night. Hugo's is still there, too. I moan.) Once again, happy birthday.
I put the letter down, shaking slightly.
Ok, you may be a little confused about what exactly happened last night. So I shall relive the disaster again. Just so you can mock me. Ain't I great?
Just to set the record straight, though, I didn't get drunk. Though I wish I did. Yes, I danced with Louis. But with all that happened with Faldo, it just didn't feel... I don't know. Right? No, that's not the word I'm looking for. I mean, I'm in love with the bloke for two years now. I am not to fell guilty for my dreams. But it did feel more dissatisfactory than it should have, considering the fact that I was dancing with (And embracing!) the Louis Weasley. When I think about it, I'm actually kind of mad at Faldo for making me feel miserable.
Ok, that's a lie. He did nothing. I'm the bad guy here. No use in trying to hide the fact that I'm scum.
Not to mention that the long awaited fight finally took place two feet from us. Just some random guys' discussion over their fists turning into a major mess. I hate to say it, but I knew it. It never fails to happen.
I detest parties.
And here I am again, faced with last night's events too early in the morning for it to be fair in any kind of way. And I am just as confused as yesterday.
First off, now I'm constantly thinking how much of a jerk I am. Not only did I fail to say the magical words to Faldo that would make everything all right, I also ignored him and danced with Louis right under his nose. Not that Faldo cares with whom I dance. But it was still plain awful of me.
Second, I tried to actually keep the party going, in spite of the fight, just so I could get myself together and enjoy my gift of Louis. That is, until Hugo Weasley vomited on my shoes. Which just so happened to be my favourite sneakers. So, not only am I a prick, but I am also so egotistic that it makes me sick. It was only natural that as soon as Lee and I got to our dorm, I vomited all over our bathroom.
Which reminds me of the only up side of this whole story. Marilyn must have stumbled upon it this morning.
I snicker, in spite of everything. But it doesn't last long.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't Miss 'I'm to blame for the Weasley-Young break up'."
I advert my gaze from the note (Which I stuff deep underneath my pillow.) and to Marilyn. She's standing there, mocking me with her perfect smile and a fresh copy of 'Daily Hogwarts'.
"What?" I frown, confused.
"Oh, don't you pretend to be all innocent now, Dursley. It's too late." She levitates the paper right into my lap.
It only takes one painful look to discover my next big headline.
DURSLEY BREAKS WEASLEY AND YOUNG UP
There's even a picture of my grumpy self standing on the side and it so appears as if I'm glaring at the smiling Louis and Dawn beside me.
Where the hell did she get the picture from!? I don't take pictures! Well, at least I try not to. Nothing to do with the fact that the camera despises me.
After a good minute, my brain finally comes across the real point of the whole situation. I lift my gaze, shocked. Marilyn examines me, unsure what to make of my startled expression. But that only lasts a second.
"And by the way, that's the last time I'm cleaning the bathroom!" She shrieks before storming to the said room.
This causes Lee to wake up. "Whaaa-? Where's the fire?!"
She then notices me and my pale face. "Oh, it's just a dream. Brilliant."
And she falls back to sleep.
I try to fathom the even more serious consequence of last night and the enormous possibility that I am to blame for it, too. It doesn't work.
I jump to my feet, only one person popping into my mind.
* * *
I knock for the third time, hoping someone will finally grace me with his presence.
Lost in despair, I point my wand at the entrance.
"What do you think you're doing?" The Fat Lady glares at me and not without fear.
"Alohomora!" I yell, ignoring her.
But, again, nothing happens.
The Fat Lady laughs. "Honestly, child, you are ridiculous. Who even let you study at such a prestigious school?"
My head is screaming dirty words, but I stay still. With an enormous chunk of effort, that is.
Finally, the portrait removes itself. Not before I stick my tongue at it triumphantly, though.
On the other side is the most disturbingly pale boy I have ever seen.
I storm in. "Get James Potter! Now!"
The boy runs off, terrified.
I didn't know I can be scary. Just another new trait I can put to good use, I'm sure. Oh, how sad am I?
After five painfully long minutes, James comes down the stairs, his hair messier than Roxy's (A new record!) and his eyes almost completely shut.
"Dora? Is that you?"
"You would know if you opened your eyes."
He smirks." Someone's grumpy.
I sigh. "James, be serious. I need you to be serious right now. I have to ask you something."
He frowns and motions to the couch.
I shake my head. "No, not here. People can hear."
"They can smell, too." He grins again.
I moan. Seriously, I'm going to burst into the ugliest cry the world has ever seen. Not only have I the worst headache ever and am potentially to blame for the biggest break up of the year (Heck, of all Hogwarts!), but James just had to decide now is the time to be funny with me. Doesn't he guess it's still too soon?
He must have noticed my death glare as he takes my hand and leads us out. "Follow me."
I sit on the chair in the Room that looks the most uncomfortable. It's my way of punishing myself for being a... well... a bitch, really. I know, I know, that's a bad word. But right now, I don't think I deserve anything better.
"What's going on, Dora?" James looks at me with concern.
It doesn't help. It only brings back memories of the day that he attacked me and Faldo protected me. And when I...
I pick my head up, completely muzzy. "Hm?"
I bite my lip, hesitating. Is James really the right person? I mean, in terms of getting the real truth, he's the best person. But in terms of telling him why I need the information... Do I really want him to know?
I stare at him for a moment, seeing a deep and clear worry in his look. I breath out.
"Did Louis and Dawn break up last night?"
I await a pause. A confusion. Secretly, I await a firm yes. But...
"No." He answers straight.
My heart drops.
I know. What was I thinking? It was bound to be just another one of Marilyn's ridiculous lies. But still... I was hoping... Ok, I know I'm the worst person in the world. I hate myself right now. Trust me.
"They broke up a week ago."
My mouth falls open and I glare at James with shock. "They what?!"
James frowns but then suddenly a small smile appears on his plump lips. "Dora, is there any chance that you, oh I don't know... like Louis?"
Oh, no. I though he would somehow ignore the fact that I'm out of breath and shaking and sweating... Or chalk it up to my weirdness. I know, it's outrageous. I'm in shock, ok?! I'm not thinking straight!
He walks to me and slings one hand over my shoulder. "Why didn't you tell me? I could've help you. After all, Louis is not only my cousin. He's one of my best mates."
I look at James and his beaming face. He actually supports me. He doesn't think I'm crazy. He doesn't judge me. He apparently thinks it's ok.
And in that moment, that one crazy moment of my almost break down, I hug him tightly. He stays stiff for a second, confused and startled. But then he answers back, pulling me in gently.
"Thanks, James." I mumble into his pajamas.
I hear a small smile in his voice when he answers. "Anytime, cousin."
* * *
So, it's official. Louis is single. I just now understand Scorpius and his crazy plan to seduce Rose. I mean, Louis was single before. And I was in love with him even then. But I never though it was possible for him to like me. I know Scorpius felt the same. Now, I'm in danger to jump the Soulmate train. I hope I don't go that crazy. But miracles are happening. Just look at Louis there, sitting alone. Without Dawn. It feels so... surreal.
"Earth to Dora." Roxy scoffs. "Saint Bludger, you're on it again, aren't you?"
"What?" I cough.
"Well, can you blame her?" Lee beams at me. "I mean, if I just found out Sam's single, I would not only be daydreaming, I would..."
"Thanks, Lee." Roxy snorts. "Not up for your vivid visuals."
"I feel sick and happy at the same time, somehow. It's odd." I breath out.
"I know." Roxy says.
I stare at her.
"Um... I mean, you look pretty weird, too. It shows." She tries to escape the interrogation.
I notice a few dirty looks thrown my way. I guess people still read these crappy articles. And what's even worse, believe them. No! I wasn't one of those people! I was just... Confused. Is all.
"Guys, Harry Potter is here!" We hear someone yell at the entrance of the Hall.
Suddenly, it's as if it was just announced that Death Eaters are attacking us. People scream. People cry. People run out.
Roxy sighs. "The annual Potter DADA class."
"Oh, cool. I missed the last one." Lee smiles.
"That's because you were busy with your devil cat." Roxy retorts with a shudder.
"Hey, it was a nice cat!" Charlie protests.
"Then why did you get rid of it?"
"I didn't get rid of it! She... wanted to live in the woods. With her family."
"Sure." Roxy snorts again and I laugh as we follow the flow of people to the most visited class of the entire school.
Uncle Harry's one hour babble about dark arts.
Not to say that he's a bad teacher. On the contrary. He's great. When he gets to actually teach. 'Cause it usually turns into war story telling. Students here are not very original.
As we take a spot in a less crowded group near the Lake, I finally get a look at my uncle. If I had more of them, I'm sure he would still be my favourite.
I remember the first time we met. I was very confused as to why he was so famous.
The second of November, 2017
I was sitting on our couch between my ecstatic mother, all ready to meet Harry Potter (Even though, a week ago she didn't know anything more about him than that he was dad's cousin with loose ties to each other.), and my pale father. Yesterday I heard him mumble something to the extent of 'stupid karma and it's stupid ways'. Let's just say he wasn't very trilled when my bottle incident happened. And I was beginning to think it had less to do with me actually being 'special', but more with the fact that he now was forced to turn more to said cousin.
A loud 'pop' interrupted my thought and the most peculiar looking man appeared in our living room. Of course, I already knew how he looked. There were plenty of books to research about him. But not 'our' books. Mum was excited that dad bough a few magical ones when he was feeling especially guilty and depressed over his previous life. I, of course, until a few days back, didn't know anything about them. Therefore, nothing more than 'You have an uncle. He lives far away.' about Harry Potter. And that also turned out to be a lie. He lived just outside London.
And so I took my best look at the stranger that was my uncle. He was... how to put it... Interesting, shall we say? He had thick black hair that was sticking in unusual directions (To what I could relate, since my curls weren't always docile.), a gray coat over a black suit, funny shoes which looked a lot like snickers (Which I assumed were not. Since adults didn't usually wear snickers... That often.) and had a backpack over his shoulder (Didn't grown ups carry brief cases to work?). His free hand was bandaged and it looked like a pretty serious wound. His glasses seemed more round to me, just because no one wore glasses like those anymore. They were all mostly in rectangular shapes.
He glanced at me directly. I had no idea what he would do next. I was a little scared. Of his reaction and of the fact that I may turn out to grow into someone like him. He was weird. I didn't want to be weird. But then, he smiled. It was a smile of understanding. A smile of reassurance. A smile of support.
"You must be Dora."
I didn't know what to say. It wasn't a question. He knew who I was. We just never met.
He took a look at my parents but quickly returned his attention to me. "You look exactly like your mother. Only..."
"I'm a blondie like my dad." I sighed.
People always said that. It was beginning to annoy me.
Harry Potter laughed and nodded his head, like he understood my impatience completely. Like he related to me somehow. And in spite of me, I wanted that to be true. Maybe then I would feel less isolated and lost.
He walked to me and put a hand on my shoulder gently. I gazed into his eyes. They had the most amazing emerald color.
"Don't worry, Dora. You'll be just fine."
His warm smile sent a calm feeling through my body. And in that moment, even though I was never as freaked out by anything as by the fact that I was suddenly so drastically different, I was at peace. I felt safe.
Harry Potter had a gift of making me feel normally weird. And I was beginning to appreciate it.
And even though everything he had done in his turbulent life didn't amaze me, since it didn't have anything to do with my life, I understood why he was apparently so loved by everyone. Harry Potter was a modern day knight in shining armor... Well, in a dusty gray coat, which I assumed was black underneath all that dirt. But still. He was amazing.
I smile fondly at the memory only to be interrupted by said uncle who coughs loudly.
"Hi. For those of you who don't know me (Do those people even exist? I mean, really.), I'm Harry Potter. And I'm here to teach you something about defending yourselves, in case a dark wizard attacks. Or, you know, just a very drunk one with his wand loosely pointed at you."
The mass laughs. I do too, in spite of the fact that there's a big guy crushing my foot.
"So..." He begins but immediately gets interrupted.
"We want a Golden Trio story!" Someone shouts from the crowd.
I look around and find it to be Scorpius. I glare at him. He just shrugs, innocently. But then my gaze falls on Faldo, who's looking at me. I instantly turn away.
"Wow, that's a new record." Uncle Harry laughs.
"Mr Malfoy, this is completely rude of you." Headmistress says sternly, gaping at him from uncle Harry's side.
"Sorry." Scorp answers meekly.
"No, it's ok." Uncle laughs. "I know they enjoy that more."
We all sit on the warm grass and prepare to be amazed. It's still quite wicked hearing all these stories. Even though it makes me feel like a such underachiever.
Uncle Harry begins his story in a slow pace. But as he goes further into it, his voice becomes more intense and his look scarier. I feel like no one's even breathing.
"He's such an amazing guy." Charlie whispers.
I smile as he goes to explain how he and his friends escaped from the Gringotts bank.
"Yeah, he is. He truly is a hero. With a very messy hair and an unusual love for horror films."
"Oh." Roxy sighs. "Don't remind me. "The Saw marathon is still printed deep in my mind."
"You'd guess that after everything that happened to him, he would want to live peacefully and boring." I smile.
"Well, that's uncle Harry, for you." Roxy nods. "At his core, he's a very weird guy."
We laugh quietly just to not get hissed at by angry Potter fans.
I look at my uncle again with admiration. I wish I'm brave like him. My life would be so much more like the way I want it to be. Well, maybe someday... After all, we do share some genes. Who knows...
Nah, who am I kidding? I'm a chicken.
"Dora!" Uncle Harry shouts my name and signals for me to reach him after the story's finished.
It's bloody hard with him being who he is. The three of us somehow manage to do so, in the end. Charlie stares at him, while Roxy and I are doing all the hugging.
"Missed you, uncle." We say in unison.
"I missed you, too, girls." He looks at the crowd. "My children appear to be hiding from me. I hope it's just because of their detentions."
He then looks at me with warmth. "I have something for you."
Uncle Harry gives me two packages. I take them curiously.
"For your birthday." He smiles. " I know you don't usually take presents. But make this one exception.The brown one is from the Potters and the yellow one from your mum and dad."
I smile and kiss him on the cheek.
"Happy birthday, Dora. "
"Thanks, uncle Harry."
He sighs. "Gotta go, see if I can catch my offsprings. They're really playing hard to get."
We all laugh.
He gives us another hug (While Charlie's melting, of course.) and walks off.
"You guys seriously have the coolest family." Charlie notes dreamily.
"You wouldn't say so if you spent even ten minutes with my grandfather." I sigh, remembering the one time dad tried to get me to see the said man and my grandmother.
Yeah, short lived. The shortest.
When I get back to my room, I sit down to open the presents. It's not like I hate getting them. But I feel weird when I do. Like I always have to give something in return and it has to be even bigger than my own. Yeah, I'm peculiar like that. Shocker!
I first open uncle Harry's. It appears to be a book. I turn it around to read the title.
"The Jungle Book".
I chuckle and open it slowly. On the first page, there's a note.
Even though we believe you will recognize yourself in these stories, we still hope you give people more chances. There're not half as bad as you think.
Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny
I smile as I put the book away, lovingly and sigh. I really feel as if I'm a Mowgli, not able to adapt to normal, social life, always yearning to go back to the wildness. Even though I never lived in a jungle. Well, if you don't count the one in my own head.
I reach for the second box and unwrap it, curiously. Funnily enough, it's another book. No, there are three books, actually. But first, I read the letter.
I know how much you claim that your room doesn't need cleaning, just so I don't enter it. But sorry, it had to be done. Anyway, when I was sniffing around (Yes, you read that right!), I found these. I know how whiny you can get. My lovely genes are guilty of that. So I wanted you to have these and remind yourself that now you're probably the happiest that you have ever been. I know how much I complaint about your "social life". But I'm actually proud of you and that you now have real friends. They are very important, Dora. Do everything to not loose them. I hope you don't mind my silly old self too much. Dad says hi and to not overdo yourself. We love you.
Mum and Dad (No, I didn't let Dad be the first one signed.)
I smile to myself as I put the letter down and open the first book.
My diary, 001 (Yes, that's not a number, but a code. This is a secret so no one, and by no one I mean you mum, can't read this!)
I chuckle again and open a random page which is slightly crumpled.
Oh, Havens. School is so annoying. I'm great at it, but I hate it. You know why? Every time I come here, even though I pretend it doesn't hurt, someone calls me a stuck up, or a brat, or an unwanted hag. I know I can be a little selfish with homework. But that's just so that people try and do them on their own. I have their best interest in mind. 'Cause if an elementary school homework is too much for them, what's going to happen when they get to University? Oh, that' right, they'll be too stupid to even get into one.
I close the diary, feeling a little sick.
Oh, I was bad. Real, real bad. No wonder no one wanted to be my friend.
I look up at the sky and it's shining lights. They somehow make me dizzy. And my heart starts to hurt. It actually hurts. What am I doing?
That's it. I jump up and run out before my mind comes up with a reason to stay still, like always.
I walk into the Great Hall, happy to spot Scorp, Al and Faldo just in time as they are leaving. I approach them. Faldo looks at me coldly. I shudder a little.
"Dora!" Scorp exclaims. "Tell me, wasn't that party great?!"
I frown at him.
"Ok, so it ended in a fight. Big deal. You still got your present, right?" He winks at me.
"Guys, I really need to go now." Al says, apparently in a hurry and waves at us before disappearing.
"We should hurry, too." Faldo says to Scorpius.
"Where are you going?" I ask him, but he doesn't have the chance to answer because Scorp does instead.
"To the RoR. Having our third piano lesson." He smiles enthusiastically.
"Can I come with?" I almost plead.
Scoprius flings a hand over my shoulder, smiling. "Of course. It will be good to have an audience, for a change."
I glance at Faldo but he's not looking at me. I sigh. This won't be easy.
* * *
"Slower, Scorpius. You're going to rape the poor thing." Faldo stands above him, huffing.
I sit nearby and watch them argue and agree several times in a row.
Clearly, Faldo is not very patient. Or maybe it's because of me. Maybe he doesn't want me here. Ok, scratch the 'maybe'. It's obvious I'm making him sick.
"Better now?" Scorpius tries again.
Faldo just nods.
After Scorpius plays the intro successfully (He's actually very good. Not jealous!), Faldo calls it quits.
"That's enough for today. You're doing great."
"You wouldn't tell from the look on your face." Scorp grins.
Faldo frowns. I shudder again.
"I'm just tired." He explains.
I stand up and smile at Scorpius. "You really are good, Scorp. Don't worry."
He smiles. "Thanks, sis."
"But-I have to go! Quidditch and all. Duties, duties."
He waves and runs out, lost in his own world, with Rose's name written all over it, I'm positive.
And so, the longest, most awkward silence begins. I don't know what to do. Looking at him feels hurtful somehow. Talking to him... Well, I'm pretty sure he won't answer. So I'd just look stupid. But then again, the silence is killing me!
Finally, with no idea what I'm doing, I sit on the piano chair and press a key lightly. The sound breaks the dead air.
Faldo doesn't react, though. I try to recreate the song again, like Scorpius did before me. But it just sounds awful.
"You're doing it wrong." Faldo finally utters.
"What?" I stare at him, startled that he actually speaks to me.
"Here." He takes a place on the chair, beside me.
In a moment of my confusion, I feel that frisky winter day smell again. And it calms me down. But just for a second. Because his look unsettles me. He plays the piano, just a few notes, and then stops abruptly.
"Now you try." He says sternly.
I shallow hard and try to copy him again. It doesn't work.
"You're too bluff. Try again."
I do. But, just as before, it ends in a disaster.
Faldo sighs heavily. But then, he takes both of my hands and places them above the keys.
I look at him. Just because suddenly, I feel hot and cold at the same time. What is he doing? Or better, how is he doing it? Faldo doesn't notice my confusion, though, as he steadies my fingers on the keys with his just above mine. And so, I play the note perfectly.
Just as I begin enjoying his warm touch, he pulls his palms away.
"Try now." He repeats.
I sigh lightly and do so. But this time I get it right.
He nods his head looking at the piano. "Better."
Then finally, having lost all of my patience, I burst.
"I'm sorry, ok?!"
He blinks a few times and turns to look at me.
"I'm sorry I turned you into this, this cold, annoying prick. I know it's all my fault. I'm sorry. I am. I was a jerk, too. I was..."
But Faldo interrupts me. 'Cause he's... Laughing?
I stare at him, confused.
"You think you're responsible for the way I turned out?" He finally settles for a genuine smile.
"Blue, it's not your fault. Trust me. Yes, I was a little hurt. But it lasted for a day. I wasn't angry at you. I was angry at myself. That's why I apologized."
"But I..." I look away for a second. "Why were you avoiding me all these days, then?"
"I wasn't. You avoided me."
I frown. But then I search through my memory. Only to find that he's completely right. As usual.
"Oh." I say meekly.
"So you say I'm a cold, annoying prick, ay?"
"Oh, Havens." I sigh. "I can't even say sorry like a normal person."
He smiles. "Well, that only proves that you're not normal, then. And, who wants to be normal, anyway?"
I gaze at him. His look is warm, his smirk approving, his face glowing. He reminds me of a male angel. Not that there is such a thing. No, not even in my imagination!
"So, you're not mad that I run away at my birthday?"
"I know I scared you off. I understand." He nods. "You didn't expect to hear that from me."
"Exactly!" I exclaim and yet again find that he completely gets me.
Which makes me nervous.
"So, does this mean your offer stays?" He asks, insecure.
I bite my lip.
Faldo wants to be friends with me. Ok, so this is completely ridiculous to the point that I think I must be dreaming. But then again, it makes more sense than any of the things that happened lately.
I offer him my shaky hand and he accepts with a smile.
"I don't know why we didn't do this before." I wonder out loud.
"Probably because I'm an annoying, cold prick." He beams.
"Argh, you're never going to let me forget that, will you?"
"Not a chance." He mocks.
I don't even realize that we are still holding each other's hands.
Mum will be proud. 'Cause Dora Demelza Dursley just got herself another friend. Which reminds me... I have to find Tate and apologize to him, too. Well, this isn't so bad as I thought it would be.
"We should probably go." Faldo suggests after a whole minute of us shaking each other's hands.
I drop mine quickly I stand up. "Definitively. My stomach craves pumpkin pie."
"Blue, you'll never change." He says while we're exiting the Room.
"What's that supposed to mean?!" I return snappily.
"You'll always be a needy crybaby."
I gasp. "Jerk!"
He laughs. "Glad you're back to your weird self."
I give him a long look. "Glad you'll always annoy me. Even if it's just a little."
And it's a beginning of a wonderful friendship...
Yeah, right. Maybe we're friends now. But he'll always be Faldo. And I'll always be a weirdo. But who cares? Apparently, Faldo enjoys it. And maybe I do too, just a little bit.
Don't judge me. I'm hungry. I speak nonsense when I'm hungry.
But deep down, beneath it all, I know we'll be just fine.
A/N: Aaaaand... They're finally friends! :D It took them long enough, didn't it? :)
I hope you enjoyed it. I think it's one of my personal favourites.
But tell me what you think. :)
P.S. The next chapter is almost done! And the one following that is already started and planed out. I thought you'd like to know. :)
Chapter 10: Charlie, The Loony?
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Disclaimer: Do not own it. :)
Charlie, The Loony?
"This is seriously an overkill." I moan while writing my Arithmancy essay.
I question my sanity in the moment I chose it to be one of my classes. What was I thinking?! If only I could remember. Maybe it would make more sense.
"You wanted to deal with numbers. Now deal with the consequences." Lee smirks into my face.
I stuck my tongue out at her.
"Still so immature, I see." Faldo says before sitting next to me on the common room couch.
"Still so snotty, I see." I return.
He grins. It's not a derisive grin, but a light, sincere one. I have seen Faldo grin countless of times these past three weeks since we ended our arguments, but it's still unusual.
"Aren't you supposed to be reading a book, or something?" I examine his face curiously.
"I should. But you're a big distraction, Blue. It's just too fun to mock you."
"I'm not even that mockable, you know."
"Mockable?" He raises his eyebrows.
"Shut up." I mutter under my breath.
He still manages to outsmart me. Needless to say, it's not a very pleasant fact for me to know.
"And always so original." He pats my back.
I roll my eyes.
"This is just too weird." Lee shudders and stands up to go and sit by the fireplace, all by herself.
"There you go." I point at her to Faldo who's smiling insensibly. "We actually succeeded in disturbing Charlie. Charlie, who believes she's from the distant future and that dragons are cute."
"We're brilliant, obviously." Faldo nods.
I look at him, trying to act all seriously full of myself, but it fails as we snicker.
That's when Scoprius storms in and beams at his friend like a mad person.
"They you are, Chill! You were going to forget about our class, didn't you?!"
I smirk at Faldo as he smiles lazily. He has been avoiding Scorpius these past week as his friend's dedication had grow out of that and became an obsession. Which isn't a surprise really, when you know how Scorpius can get when he's into something. I still can't shake the memory of their first Quidditch match this season out of my mind. I immediately regretted that I agreed to watching those. Damn Faldo and his persuasive methods.
"Sorry." Faldo stands up slowly, hesitant, but quickly gets dragged out by one of his best friends.
Which makes me wonder just where his other best friend is. Again.
"Lee, have you seen Al?"
"What?" She looks up from her Divination essay.
"I mean, you two went to lunch together. Has he said anything about going somewhere after that?"
I'm nosy, so what?
Lee shakes her head. "Not that I know."
She then frowns, which is an unusual expression when seen on her always happy face. "What's it to you, anyway?"
I blink. "Well, for starters, he's my cousin."
Lee stares at me with those big brown eyes of hers.
"And... Ok, I'm too curious. Happy!?"
She smiles. "You're making an improvement, Dora. So yes, I am happy."
Charlie then returns to her homework. I roll my eyes.
Apparently, people around me are majorly in love. Or just plain crazy.
But I was sure Al'd stay composed in spite of everyone. Now, I'm not sure what to think of him disappearing like this. All the time. And with Roxy acting more weird as Quidditch matches go by, I'm really glad Faldo's my friend right now. It seems we're the only sane ones left.
Don't tell him I said that.
* * *
At dinner, Lee and I share a meal as neither one of us is quite hungry. Midst it all, I steal a glance at Louis. He's chatting with James and Fred, seeming more happy than the previous weeks. Apparently, he and Dawn ended it on good terms. They remained friends. But it's still hard for him. He needed time to adjust. And now, that he did, it appears that every hot girl in Hogwarts is after him. Which frustrates me to no end. I'm back to where I was at the beginning.
"Seriously, Scorpius needs to relax. He's driving me mad." Faldo's voice brings me back to reality very rudely.
He, of course, doesn't notice the fact. But instead takes a seat next to Lee and opposite me.
"Oh, so now you think you were ever sane." I smirk at him.
"Very funny, Blue." He shakes his head in that Faldo way.
But I think he does it only when I say something outrageous. Like now. Or so he believes. I grin in response.
"And how's the essay going?"
I frown. "You're being plain mean."
Now he smirks. I hate how he still thinks he's the smartest being alive. Jerk.
Then finally, Al graces us with his presence. And he looks...
"Hot." Charlie winks at him.
Al's face turns red.
She beams at him.
Wait a minute... Am I missing something here?
"So, where have you been all this time, eh?" I fixate my gaze on him.
He shifts uncomfortably. Good boy.
"I hate when you look at me like that."
"My 'Tell me everything.' look?" I offer.
Faldo laughs. "Al, just don't look at her. It's that simple."
I twirl to him and point my fork in his direction. "Faldo, don't mess with my game. I'll come after you."
"With what, your pouting?"
"You're not funny." I frown deeply.
"And you're not scary." He retorts.
We proceed to glare at each other.
"What's this? I though you were friends now." Scorpius and Roxy stride to us, with Scorpius giving us dark glances.
"We are." I say, confused as to why he would think otherwise.
"So... it's always going to be like this, then?" Roxy sighs and sits next to Al, who still looks uncomfortable.
"What did you think? Just because we're friends now, doesn't mean I suddenly like Faldo." I point to him with my fork again and snort.
"Thank you, Blue." He snorts back.
In all that and with Scorpius gazing intensely at Rose, I forget about Al completely.
"Scorp, you're seriously starting to resemble McLaggen. And, let me tell you, that's not attractive."
"It's not attractive to you." Scorpius says, defensive.
Oh, Havens. Love apparently kills all of your brain cells. Well, at least it didn't do that to me. I look at Faldo, seeking support. He nods and turns to his best mate.
"Scorp, Blue's right. It isn't attractive. It's creepy."
"So you're saying that if you had a hot girl like Lee here (Lee smiles smugly.) following you around, you'd be creeped out?"
"Did you just call yourself a hot girl?" I question but don't get my answer as Faldo interrupts me.
"Ok, in the reversed situation, it's not that creepy. But it's just because guys see it differently. Girls are more sensitive."
It would sound a bit sexist if it wasn't so utterly true.
"Fine! I don't need your support. I have Al. And Lee. Right, Lee?"
She beams at him. Brilliant.
Scorp then gets up and leaves us to stare after him.
"Boy, he's gone way crazy." Lee chuckles.
"It's not funny." I moan. "It seems everyone's mental these days. Is it contagious or something?"
"Maybe you should try it, too. It's fun being crazy like that a little bit." Lee suggests.
At that I steal another glance at Louis. And, just like that, he looks back. I feel that my cheeks are burning red, so I look away. Only to be met with Faldo's gaze.
He shakes his head. "Nothing."
I sigh and stare at my dinner.
Maybe Charlie's right. Maybe it's time I experience some of it myself. But going that crazy? I don't think I ever will. No matter how much in love I am.
* * *
I stare at the ceiling, feeling particularly strange. Am I weird if I don't behave like most teenagers these days? Am I weird if my hormones are not raging quite as much as everyone else's? It'd be nice to have at least something in common with the rest of the world.
But after all... Why does love have to imply insanity?
"Dora, you'll want to come down in the common room." Lee says to me, entering the dorm, looking a little... off?
But I'm not in the mood to interrogate her.
"Why?" I sit up lazily.
"Drake's waiting for you."
I frown. Faldo and I don't wait. We barely catch up with each other.
I head out, curious as to what it is about.
And sure enough, there in the center of the room, stands Faldo. Complete in some preppy pants, black shirt and a deep blue jacket. It's weird seeing him out of his uniform at school. He usually never takes it off.
"Come on, Blue. No time to loose." He pulls me by my hand and we exit the common room.
"Are you kidnapping me? 'Cause if you are, why didn't you let me take at least one pumpkin pie with me? That would've been human of you."
"Stop babbling, Blue. We're almost there."
"Where?" I look around, insecure. "We're in the middle of the courtyard."
"Exactly." He smiles.
"No." I take a better look. "We're in Hagrid's yard."
"Even better." Falgo grins.
We stop near the forest. What the... He doesn't expect me to go in there, right? He just can't! But Faldo does something else. He whistles loudly and a majestic grey hippogriff comes out from the woods.
I immediately smile and go to pat her. It's Cinderella, my favourite hippogriff. We instantly bonded on my first Care of Magical Creatures class, years ago. I named her Cinderella, because I never saw her by night and have imagined wild stories as to why that was so.
I was young, ok?!
I turn to Faldo, amazed and out of breath.
"How did you..."
"Sources." He shrugs.
I pat Cinderella before I realize that this whole situation is kind of... well, random.
"Ok, not that I don't appreciate this... But... Why..."
"I noticed that you were looking at Louis Weasley today." He says bluntly and my mouth drops.
"What?!?" I feel my eyes are going to drop out of my skull.
"Relax, Blue. Your secret's safe with me. Anyway, I can see you want to be with him. But, naturally, you being you, you chicken out."
I stare at him, still in shock, not muttering a word. Faldo sees this as an opportunity to further explain his actions.
"So, I brought you here to help you with that." He smiles.
"But... But... How is this going to help..." I stutter.
"Well, if you're able to conquer one of your fears, you'll be able to face them all. So..." He slides to Cinderella and pats her back. "You're going to fly."
"No! NO, no, no, no! Not a chance, Faldo! No!" I stumble back, panicked.
I feel as if he cornered me and I have no where to escape.
"Six times no? I think I can handle that." He smirks.
"You don't understand. I can't fly. Ever since I pretended to be a butterfly and fell from the tree in our yard, I have had nightmares about flying. Seriously, I can't do this."
Sadly, the butterfly bit is true.
Faldo walks to me and looks me in the eyes. "Listen to me. You can do this."
"NO!" I shriek. "Faldo, this is ridiculous! Flying won't help me. I'll always be a coward. And Louis will never like me!"
I stop, startled at what I'm saying. This is Faldo. The guy I despised for almost four years. And now... Look at me. I'm telling him my deepest secrets. Why am I doing this?
I breath in and out a couple of times. Meanwhile, Faldo waits patiently. But as soon as he guesses that I'm calm enough, he pulls me to the hippogriff.
"No, Faldo. Don't, please!"
He twirls. "You can agree to this on your own or we can go the hard route. Suit yourself."
Major deja-vu just there.
I sigh. "Only if you fly with me and promise to never, not in one second, let me go."
"I won't let you go." He says seriously.
Ok, here it is. I'm insane. Really. Again, what am I doing? Even though I have no clue why, I suddenly feel the need to trust him. As if he could really help me. As if I believe he knows exactly how.
I nod my head and Faldo smiles happily. He then helps me up and I sit nervously. Cinderella stays still. Well, at least one of us is calm. Then Faldo climbs up, too, taking his spot behind me.
I turn to him, freaked out. "Grab me, you idiot."
He listens to me, amused. Then, he pushes Cinderella slightly and...
"Oh my Havens! Oh my Havens! We're flying! We're flying!"
"Calm down, Blue. We're only two feet of the ground." He chuckles.
"Shut up!" I shriek as Cinderella takes off fully and I can now see the clouds so close like there're in my hand reach. I gasp loudly and close my eyes, feeling dizzy.
"Open your eyes, cry-baby!" Faldo yells from behind me. "Or you're going to miss it!"
"Miss what?" I do so and follow Faldo's palm pointing to the sky above us.
I gasp again, but this time from admiration.
The blackness is full of millions and millions of lights. Stars twinkling away, making me wish I could touch them. Feeling unusually calm, a smile creeps on to my lips. Then, I suddenly become very aware of the prick sitting behind me. I turn to Faldo once again, my heart beating madly form the height.
"You're really a good friend, Faldo."
I can't see his face clearly so I'm assuming he's just rolling his eyes away. Or shaking his head a la Faldo. Like he does almost all the time with me.
"That's just the dizziness talking from you."
I laugh, not surprised by his blunt answer. "You're probably right."
There's a short silence followed by his deep voice. "So, going down?"
I take one huge breath in and nod. "Going down."
Faldo shoves Cinderella again and we start to near the ground. My dizziness grows enormously as we get closer and closer. Thankfully, it all ends as fast as we hit solid ground. Or... ?
I crouch down, feeling sick.
"Turn around! It's gonna get ugly."
And... I did it again. Vomited my whole dinner out. I fall back on the grass. Faldo shadows me from above, his eyes piercing mine.
"Not more than usual."
I kick him in his leg.
"What was that for? " He yelps.
"You're always gonna be a jerk, Faldo."
He laughs and offers me his hand. I take it and almost fall from the pull. After finally finding my balance, we head to the castle. There's a comfortable moment of silence that suits me. But it doesn't last long as one thought pops into my mind.
"You think I'll ever be able to tell him?" I mumble, feeling hot.
Faldo doesn't answer immediately and I fear that I freaked him out to the point of running away for his dear life.
"I think you're capable of more things than you believe, Blue."
I glance at him. Suddenly, I feel like choosing to be his friend instead of his 'enemy' was one of the best decisions in my life.
"Why did I ever call you a jerk?"
"Because I am a jerk?"
I grin. "Right. Almost forgot it there."
"I'll remind you if you ever do." He pats my shoulder lightly and opens the door for me.
And as we share another look, I smile to myself contently.
* * *
"Where is Lee?" I sit next to Roxy and again stare at her.
It's hard getting used to her now slightly longer wavy hair. I never though she'd decide to grow it out. But I guess a lot has been changing at Hogwats this past month. Why not Roxanne?
She shrugs, her mouth full of food. At least that has remained the same. I wish it was reversed, honestly.
"Right, she had her Divination class." I remember.
But shortly after that, one thing more. "But it ended twenty minutes ago."
"I'm sure she's fine." Roxy mumbles.
I frown. Lee is a very organized person. With all her extra activities and meetings, she always succeeds to manage everything in time. Plus, when has she ever missed out lunch?
"I'm gonna go and find her." I decide.
Roxy rolls her dark eyes at me. "All right, Sherlock. I know you NEED to know."
I point my finger at her. "Don't make fun of me, girl!"
She gasps. "Don't call me GIRL!"
We glare at each other. After a minute or so, I break the stare. "Truce?"
Roxy nods. "Truce."
I walk out. Bumping into Tate Carringtone on my way, non the less. And his girlfriend who's name I just can't seem to remember. I smile at them.Tate smiles back. The girlfriend, instead, frowns. Well excuse me for being nice! Apparently it's a crime nowadays.
"Hi! How's it going, mate?" I pat his back.
Yeah, we're totally buddies now.
"Great!" He gives me a knowing look. "Thanks for..."
"Don't mention it." I smile.
We share another glance of understanding and part ways.
Tate and I had a very overdo talk the prior week. He told me he still loved me. I told him to snap out of it. Maybe I also slapped him a bit. I was so doing this film scene that I always wanted to. And so... He snapped out of it. And moved on. And we are now friends. I'm such a social butterfly and a master for understanding humans. A natural. I mean, I can smell a romance from hundreds of feet away. I can see your whole soul, just by looking into your eyes. Beware, humans. Beware.
I finally reach the Divination classroom, very unwilling to step in. But I figure that maybe Lee stayed behind to have one of her crazy future talks with Trelawney. I wouldn't be surprised.
I open the door and a very strong, disgusting smell that reminds me of old eggs, surrounds me, combined with a lot of smoke.
I walk in like I'm about to have my head chopped of.
"If you're looking for miss Wood, she is no longer present."
I shudder as I glance at Trelawney's big hair with something that resembles a stick stuck in it.
I try to walk away but she doesn't let me. "Humans are very intriguing. Your friend Charlie has a great mind. But a weak heart."
"Her future is very grim looking, my dear. You should look out for her more."
I roll my eyes at her fake mystification and finally walk out.
I return to the Great Hall, as my stomach is roaring for food. But Lee isn't there, still. I crumble down into my stool. Faldo's eating his boiled food, not helping my lubricous mood. I huff.
"How can you?" I moan.
He cocks an eyebrow at me. "Be a prick?"
"Not that." Then, I think it through. "Well, that too. But it's not what I mean. How can you eat that?"
Faldo sneaks a glance at the rest of the group. Roxy yawns, Scorpius shrugs confused.
"It's the way I was raised, I guess." He answers politely.
That's another thing I hate about Faldo. When he's not being an idiot, he's actually a gentleman. And he makes me feel guilty that I'm mean to him. What? You're saying I'm supposed to feel that way? Hell, no.
"So... You don't actually like eating it?"
Please say yes, please say yes. Don't make me feel even more guilty.
"Well, it's just a habit, I suppose. Mum..." He shifts in his seat. "Mum likes it that way and... She didn't have time to cook two different meals, so..."
I gaze at him. It then strikes me how rarely Faldo talks about his family, really. I never thought about it more profoundly.
He stays still for a second but then decides to continue eating again.
"You know what? I'll help you pick out a sweet that you'll become addicted to your whole life."
He looks up at me, confused. "Why?"
"Well... Everyone has a favourite sweet. Right guys?"
They all stare at me. Doesn't anyone know how to live here? Amateurs.
"Either way, you need to experience real food."
"Don't you but me." I cut him off. "It's done. The first Hogsmeade trip, I'm going to take you to 'Sweet Lavander' and get your mouth rocked."
He looks at me, weirded out. What did I say this time? Oh, nevermind.
"Trust me. You don't want to miss this. Nay, you can't."
Finally, he smirks. "Alright, Blue. I'm in."
"Then it's a date." I smile.
Wait... Did I just say... ?
"I mean, it's an outing... of two friends... who are totally... friends." I finish awkwardly.
Everyone bursts into laughter.
I am blessed with such great friends, indeed.
* * *
We enter the Ravenclaw room laughing at Scorpius and what he calls his 'bad talking day'.
"I just have these days when I should seriously be banned to utter one single word."
"Scorp, hate to brake it to you, but it happens more often than you assume." Faldo adds.
But then Marilyn and her puppy friend walk beside me, shoving me in the process.
When she realizes who it is, she turns around, annoyed.
"Would you tame your friends better? This is getting ridiculous."
The two of them then leave.
Just as I'm about to think-random, Ophelia walks down from our dorm and approaches me after saying 'hi' to everyone.
"Dora, you should go up there."
Now I'm starting to get nervous.
"What's going on?"
"Lee is, um, not... in her zone."
"What do you mean?"
She nods toward the dorm and I finally decide to go. But as I near it, my heart starts to pound. What is going on?
I walk inside the dark room with not one source of light. I try to make out any form. But it soon becomes unnecessary as one sound fills the room and pulls me just to the right place. I sit on her bad and take my wand.
And there, rolled in a ball on her bad, is Charlie. Sobbing.
My heart breaks. I never EVER saw Lee cry. Her bubbly persona is the one thing that makes my days brighter. Better. Her smile melts my cold. And now, it's gone.
"Charlie! What's the matter?"
She turns to look at me. Her eyes are not only red but too big to fit her face any more.
"I'll end up aloneeee!" She shrieks and stuffs her head in her pillow again.
She pulls her body toward me again, trying hard not to cry. She's not really good at it, though.
"Professor Trelawney said-she said-d... I'm... I'm going to end up aloneeee."
Oh, Havens. I roll my eyes. All this for that?
"Lee, for the love of your love of all things weird, stop listening to that old bat!"
"She's not an old bat! She's right! I'm never going to make someone love me! I mean, look at me! I'm a joke! No one takes me seriously. Not even my friends!"
I blink. Ouch. This is not about Trelawney then.
"Don't you see, Dora?" She gazes into my eyes. "I'm a loony. No one's ever going to love me."
I stare at her, not knowing what to say.
Ok, so I don't think Lee is a loony. No! I don't! But she can be a little... strange sometimes. She's just eccentric. But I still love her. I do. I adore her! I just... don't say a single word.
She sighs. "You see? Even my best friend thinks I'm crazy."
But it's too late.
"I don't wanna talk about it." She covers her head and cuts our conversation short.
I stare at her ball-shaped form.
What the crapity crap just happened?
* * *
So Lee has locked herself up in our dorm, refusing to go out. I tried everything that I could think of to get her out of there. But nothing worked. This just makes the news that we're having a Halloween party at the end of the month sound even worse. Not like it isn't a bad idea to start with. And not like I don't refuse to go every year. But still. Without Lee, it's completely meaningless.
"I hate balls."
Scorp sighs. "You hate everything that normal people love."
"Hey!" I yelp. "Since when don't you support me?"
"Since you're doing the same." He crosses his arms.
Here it goes again. Rose Weasley. Curse her and her charming self.
"Come on, Dora. Everyone's going." Scorpius now moans.
Except Lee. But I choose to not bring this up since everyone is still hoping I'll think of something until Halloween. Yeah, just lay it all on me, guys.
"That's exactly my point." I huff.
"No." He eyes me. "You don't get it. EVERYONE's going."
My heart speeds up and I glance at Louis across the Hall.
"I can't go." I squeal and run out of there as fast as my feet can handle it.
I stop in the first deserted corridor and take a deep breath in. Ok, Dora. Calm down. It's not like he's going to ask you.
I turn around to see Faldo running after me.
"Leave me alone."
"Not until I remind you of your own words."
"Come on, Dora. You need this. It's the perfect opportunity to tell Louis that..."
"No." I mutter. "I can't."
"What if I come with you?"
I pick my head up. "But you hate parties."
"I might make this one exception." He smiles.
"You'd do that for me?" Honestly, I'm a tad surprised. "But why?"
He sighs, frustrated. "Would you just act normal and take an offer without suspecting that I want to kill you afterwards?"
We break into a long laughter together. But then I gaze at him. I never noticed how much sadness there is in his eyes. He's not happy. And I want to know why. He thinks no one notices. And that's why I appreciate his offer even more. I really do.
I close the gap between us and hug him awkwardly. "Thanks."
But it doesn't feel so awful. Actually, it's nice. The familiar pleasant winter smell dances around me. I pull away quickly, a little confused.
He blinks. "See you at the party then?"
I nod, with a hesitant smile. He offers me his hand and I take it.
And in that moment, I feel like his touch is burning me. I pull away quickly.
"Is something wrong?" He asks, confused.
"Nothing!" And at the same time, it hits me. "I just figured out how to help Lee!"
And with that, I run away. Maybe a little more because of the fire and a little less because of Lee. But Faldo doesn't need to know that.
* * *
Finally, after those three horrible days of misery and not seeing a single smile from Lee, that perfect idea struck. And I was determined to make it work.
"Dora, you know it doesn't work that way." Alice rubs her eyes because I just awoke her from her nap.
This is an emergency!
"I know, I know. It doesn't even have to work, though. Just... Just tell her something. Something nice. Please."
She eyes me. "I can't have anyone know, Dora. You're aware of that. I'm sorry."
"She won't tell anyone. Trust me! Lee is great at keeping secrets!"
Weeeell... What? Shh!
Alice sighs. "All right, all right. Let's go."
I open the door slowly. Lee instantly moans. She has behaved like a bat herself these days. It's really hurting me as her friend. Yes, I do hurt because of her. I'm not a monster!
"Lee, I brought someone."
"I can't." She mutters back.
Alice glances at me ready to shake her head.
I stop her and near Lee. "She can see the future."
There's a moment of silence. Then, Charlie slowly sits up and looks at us.
"You know, Dora, I may be a loony, but I'm not stupid! I know Alice is not a Seer!"
"Shut up, Lee!" I cover her mouth.
Even though the room is empty except for us, there are people just outside of our dorm.
She mutters something in my hand.
"Do you promise to be a little less loud?"
She rolls her eyes and finally nods. I put my palm down.
Lee stares at us again. "So... you're, like, serious?"
"Oh my Merlin!" Lee trows herself at Alice and they fall to the floor.
Alice glares at me. I mouth a 'sorry'.
"This is amazing!" Lee exclaims. "I never really believed Trelawney. I always knew there was someone real out there."
I snort silently. Thankfully, Charlie doesn't notice.
"Um... Can you maybe... get up? I'm suffocating here." Alice utters from underneath her.
After fighting for her breath for a moment, Alice, together with Lee, finally takes a seat at Charlie's bed. I watch them from mine.
Alice nods her head and takes Lee's hand. She then closes her eyes.
Lee beams. "This is so exciting!"
"Shh!" Alice and I both hiss.
"Sorry." Charlie smiles.
I look at her, feeling guilty. It's like I'm cheating her. Alice will lie to her. Which brings me to... I just made Alice lie for me. I'm such an angel, really.
A minute passes and nothing happens. Until... Alice suddenly frowns and puts her fingers to her forehead rubbing it slightly. A yelp escapes her mouth. Lee glances at me in horror. I nod my head as a way to reassure her that this is completely normal.
Finally, Alice opens her eyes.
"Can you get me a glass of water?" She asks me seriously.
Wow, she's gooood. I listen to her immediately and run to the bathroom.
Sipping the cold drink slowly, she looks at Lee, crooking a smile.
"What is it? What did you see?" Charlie glares at her.
I'd be scared if I was Alice right now.
But she, instead, smiles even wider, putting her glass on the night stand and taking Lee's hand in hers.
"You don't have to worry, Charlie."
"What do you mean?"
"You'll be very happy."
"What did you see?" Lee's eyes just keep getting bigger and bigger.
I'm actually a little scared they're going to pop out. That wouldn't be a pretty sight.
Alice grins warmly and then answers. "Your engagement party."
And... Lee screams so hard, the glass almost breaks. I try to calm her down. But she won't let it. It takes a big, cold dousing to stop her eventually.
After twenty minutes she's still 'oh my Merlin'-ing.
"I really need to go now." Alice says through a laugh.
Charlie doesn't register us anymore as she appears to have a major daydream so we take the chance and sneak out. As we make it to the corridor outside, I let out a big sigh. I hug Alice briefly.
"Thank you so much. You have no idea what you did for her. She was really starting to drown in depression."
"Yeah, I could see that."
"And, by the way, nice acting skills you have there." I punch her in her arm playfully.
"What?" I ask, confused.
"Dora." She suddenly gets all serious. "Do you believe that Charlie will someday find someone?"
I think about it. Aside my stupid thoughts from the other day, I think Lee's brilliant. Right, she's a bit loony. But so am I. And I still hope that I can find someone someday. So if I can, Charlie most definitively will, too.
I smile. "Absolutely."
"Good." Alice smiles. "You scared for a second. I though you have no faith in your friends."
"I do. Thanks for everything, Alice."
She smiles even wider. "You know, Dora... You're not as bad as you think you are."
"Sure." I snort.
She pats my back and says just one more thing before leaving.
"And by the way, nice choice of dress. It goes well with his suit."
With that she walks away, leaving me alone in the deserted corridor.
I frown, confused. But then it hits me. Oh, no, not again!
Don't ever tease people about the future. It's just plain mean.
I walk inside while shaking my head.
And then, I see it.
A book. But I know it's not any book. It's the one Faldo's been carrying around for the past two months. I know I should just walk away. But what if someone else comes around and maybe steals it? Ok, it's not about that. I just really, really want to know what it is!
I look around. The room's deserted. I sneak to the book silently. It appears to rather be a time schedule or a notebook with solid black covers. I pick it up. With one last glance around our common room, I open the notebook curiously.
The first page has been left blank, so I go to the next one.
And it really is Faldo's handwriting. I've read enough of his homeworks to know so for sure.
I sit next to the fireplace and the fire lights itself to give warmth to my presence.
I was once a naive child with big dreams that I believed were ought to be fulfilled. But then I walked out of my childhood.
No. I didn't walk out. It was taken away from me.
Now I know dreams are just fairytales people feed you with, so you don't have to actually face the truth. That's their last gift of humanity to you. The ultimate truth about life... That it has no meaning. You're just here. With no higher purpose than that.
You're just here. And one day, you'll be gone. Just like that. With no sense.
I drop the notebook in my lap, my heart aching.
But I'm summoned to reality soon enough. With a very familiar voice.
"What are you doing?"
And I turn around...
A/N: So the next one has the Halloween party in it. Excited? I know I am. :) I hope you enjoyed this and, please, review.
Chapter 11: The Notebook Story
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Disclaimer: I wish HP was mine... Then I'd be living in Paris. But, alas, no such luck. :(
The Notebook Story
We're smiling but we're close to tears, even after all these years
We just now got the feeling that we're meeting for the first time
For The First Time, Script
"Al!" I hiss at him. "You scared me to death!"
I take a deep, sharp breath in, holding onto my skipping heart.
"And yet, you're still yelling at me." He smirks.
I breath out, relief slowly setting in.
Al sits opposite me at the small table in the corner, the fire lighting his face in a soft shade. But that doesn't fool me. I glare at him with passion.
"Dora, that's Drake's notebook, if I remember correctly." He raises his bushy eyebrow at me, scanning me with those green eyes.
"So?" I play it cool.
He'll totally buy it. I can see it already.
"Oh, so you didn't know that? I'm so deeply, utterly sorry, dear favourite cousin of mine! Please, for the love of Merlin, forgive me or I shall die of guilt!"
I supress a giggle.
"So... What are you doing with it?"
"I just... It was laying there... I just... It's non of your business!" I finish with a shriek.
So much for playing it cool.
Al laughs. But something in his smile is broken. Al could never hide anything from me. He most definitively can't hide that something's wrong. I gaze at him, worried.
"Al, are you ok? I know I haven't been the best cousin out there, but you should know that you can trust me. No, you should trust me."
"Where's Chill to stop me now?" He smiles.
I return the favour.
But then get down to business. "Is something wrong? You've been absent minded lately. Or just absent. I don't like it."
He sighs. Al's struggling with something, it's apparent. Maybe it's Faldo's secrets weighting him down. Maybe he needs to confide in someone. And who's better for that than me? Honestly.
Al finally looks up at me. "Have you ever had to choose between your dream and your family?"
I blink. Well this is certainly not what I was expecting to hear. "Not that I know of. What's going on?"
He gives me another sigh and enough time for him to compose.
"Remember how I went to Spain to compete in the Fine arts of potion making last semester?"
I nod. It was hard not having Al around those two weeks. It was up to Scorp to stop any murders from happening (Mine or/and Faldo's.) and he didn't really do a good job. Actually, he was crapish at it. But besides that, I missed Al like crazy. After all, he is my favourite cousin. Oh, shut up.
"Well, the Headmaster there was so impressed with me that..." He continues slowly, choosing words carefully. "He offered me to finish my last year there. And to have advanced potion studied afterwards."
Did a Bludger just hit me in the head?
"You're... Um... You're moving to Spain?" I force myself to utter.
Al nods his head bashfully.
"Oh, Havens. This is big." I rub my forehead forcefully.
"I spoke to mum and dad and they're fine with it.They told me to follow my dream. But Lily and James still don't know. Nor do Drake or Scorp. Or anyone else, for that matter."
I glance at the black notebook. This will kill Faldo. I wonder how he still didn't go mad with thoughts like those.
"You don't have to say anything, Dora. I understand." He pats my shoulder and I shiver.
Who knows how often will this happen when he moves away this summer? When will we get the chance to talk to each other and just... hang out? I can't even think about it. I love having Al around. I just can't imagine not.
"I'm sorry I avoided you guys these days. It was really hard looking you in the eyes when I still wasn't sure how to tell you."
"Oh, Al." I hug him tightly.
The considerate bastard.
I sniff into his shirt.
"I'm not leaving just yet, Dora." He laughs.
"You arse." I mutter.
I know he's smiling. But I also know this is really hard for him. I can feel it, even in his touch.
"You need to tell everyone." I assure him. "Then you won't feel the need to avoid them anymore."
"I know. It's just... I don't want to hurt them."
I grin. "You're too good sometimes. It makes me sick."
"Oh, shut up." He hits me in the arm playfully.
We hug again. This time we stay like that for a while. I bury my head into his warm shirt. I want to remember this. I don't want him to go away. But it's his dream. I can't take that from him. Nor should anyone else.
Yes, Faldo. Dreams are real.
I should really talk to that boy.
* * *
Why am I nervous? I shouldn't be nervous. Not considering my past record. It's just a Halloween party, for Havens' sakes. It's stupid.
I take a look at myself in the mirror. Nothing unusual. Nothing extraordinary. Just the way I look every day. That's why it's perfect.
Lee storms into the bathroom in her white gown, which reminds me too much of a wedding dress. But I let it slip. It's great having her go, too. I don't want to ruin it with my inappropriate remarks. Even though just about thousands of them are boiling up inside of my head. Right to the surface. I purse my lips tightly so nothing bursts out.
"Come on, Dora! They're waiting for us!"
She drags me out. We're the last ones to leave the room. Ophelia sneaked out, wearing a fairy robe and Marilyn took a camera and her friend to a quest for saucy scandals and trashy news. She didn't even bother to wear a costume. Well, that's the only thing I'm ever going to give her credit for.
Waiting in the common room are a nervous Albus (I'm still the only one who knows why he's like that.), a super-pumped Scorpius (He's planing to finally put the Soulmate project to 'good use' this evening. I would not take that term as what it's usually supposed to mean. Seriously, this is Scorpius we're talking about.), an enthusiastic Roxy (I know she's wearing her Diana Evans, as in her favourite Quidditch lady, costume. But seriously, fire it down a little. Jeez.) and a chilled Faldo. Well, at least he hasn't dissapointed.
"And what exactly are you two supposed to be?" Roxy points to my glorious self and a dapper Faldo (Again, nothing outside of his comfort zone.).
"A witch and a wizard, of course." We grin in response, flashing out our school robes.
"So original." Scorpius snorts.
"Shut up, Firenze." I roll my eyes at his ridiculous costume.
"I'm sorry, but this is an Unicorn costume." He interjects, offended.
"Oh, and that makes it better how?" Faldo quirks an eyebrow at him.
We snicker in unison.
"This is really scary." Lee notes, shuddering at us.
"They really shouldn't be allowed to hang out so much." Roxy agrees.
"We don't hang out that much." I correct the statement.
"Please, yesterday you spent all day long in the common room writing homework. Just loons like the two of you can do that." Roxy shakes her head, frustrated.
"Guys, let's not fight and move already. Or we'll be late." Al breaks the argument.
Considerate, Spain-loving freak. I hate him. Even though he looks positively funny in his potion bottle shaped costume. Giggle. No, bad Dora! Must stay mad at Spain-loving cousin!
Oh, what the heck. I adore the guy.
* * *
The Great Hall is breath taking, it's shiny colors lashing out in front of our amazed eyes. Pumpkin pies levitating near the ceiling and the dominant orange make me hungry, though. It is my favourite sweet, after all. The space is crowded with people in various costumes. Some original and some just laugh-worthy. I count Faldo and myself as the few ones to have succeeded in being brilliant at the costume-choosing art.
Our table is near the dance floor and a little further away from the stage. Just the perfect spot. In front of us, Charmed Witches are performing their biggest hit, 'Accio Heart'.
Roxy disappears before I even notice and Al and Charlie decide to share a dance. After I stated that their fling was just my imagination going wild, I let them hang out more. I'm the worst, I know.
That leaves... Faldo alone with me. I steal a quick glance at him when he's not looking. Again, he seems so... dismal. Or is it just me?
He turns around, leaving the atmosphere before us to unfold in it's natural, cheesy ways.
"What's wrong with you?"
Faldo first gives me a sideways look, until he breaks into a loud laughter.
"I'm annoying and cold, remember?"
"Right... No, I mean... Why are you like that? Something must've happened to you."
I won't let myself get fooled. I know he's trying to get out of this.
He frowns and immediately looks away from my face, staring again at the dancing pairs.
"Come on. You're lying. And you suck at it."
He sighs. "Blue..."
I grab his hand desperately and he glances at me, startled by my sudden action. I don't blame him. I'm pretty much acting on impulse here.
"You can trust me, Faldo. Just like I did with you. Remember?"
He gazes at me. I hope he knows I'm not being nosy here. I just... I just wanna help. No matter how crazy that sounds. Even to me.
Slowly, his hesitation melts away, replaced by the desire to share whatever it is that's bothering him with me.
I look up to see Louis in a centaur costume smiling at me. I know I mocked Scorpius about that earlier. But Louis just looks adorable. And kind of hot, too. I blush slightly.
"Care to share a dance with me?"
I turn to Faldo. He smiles at me, nodding his head. It's like he's telling me-go for it. This is your chance.
I get up with a shiver, not entirely sure if this is the right thing to do. But then I remind myself-this is Louis. Louis freakin' Weasley. And I waited for this moment to come forever now. I practically jump up from my seat, offering my hand to him. Louis accepts it with a warm smile.
I look back at Faldo, who's still got that smile on his lips. But it's not the happy-go-lucky smile I've seen him display sometimes when I make a fool out of myself (Ok, it's more than just sometimes. So sue me.). Instead, it has that faint brush of anguish in it.
"We'll talk later. Ok?" I whisper to him.
He just nods lightly and I let Louis guide me to the dance floor, not turning around anymore. I'm afraid if I see the look in Faldo's eyes again, I'll just straight out run to him.
Louis and I settle in front of the stage. I put my hands around his neck nervously. He gives me a small smile before wrapping his arms around my waist. His palms are warm but they make me shudder a little. I gaze at him. A gaze that contains all of my hope. My dreams about him and this moment.
But something in his look is suddenly different. It feels different. It doesn't make me blush like before. It doesn't make me go into a daydream sequence overdrive. It doesn't move me.
I frown sligtly, confused by my own strange apathy.
That's when the song 'Say Yes' is interrupted. The whole Hall looks toward the podium. I gasp as I realize that Scorpius is taking the microphone from the lead singer. Oh, boy. It's beginning. The Soulmate disaster.
"Hi, everyone. I'm sorry I interrupted the song. But I wanted to do this for so long, you'll just have to bare with me."
He smiles broadly and then goes to sit on the piano stool. I search through the crowd and finally spot Rose Weasley standing with her little brother and curiously watching the whole scene.
Well, of he goes. Straight into his own doom.
The first tunes start and the band, recognizing the song, follows Scoprius' lead. He bends down, his lips almost touching the microphone. Which some nearby girls apparently find attractive or something, as they are giggling loudly.
"This is for you, Rose Weasley." He breaths into the microphone.
Everyone turns to her. A chord of whispering is heard. But Rose doesn't seem to notice. Or mind, at least. Instead, she focuses on Scorpius and his surprisingly melodic voice. Rose still blinks a few times, confused.
The song fills the Hall tenderly, every corner of it, leaving not one soul indifferent. Girls are mostly swooning. And boys are making disgusted faces. I'm sure that underneath it all, they're a little envious, too. I know Rose Weasley isn't prom queen material (Not like most of these children know what one even is.). But not a small number of those guys once wished to steal her heart away. Being famous without even doing anything fame worthy had it's advantages. I know Rose isn't the one to take them. But others yearned to do so. Desperate-fame-searching-money-loving-man-whores. But Scorpius isn't like that. Scorpius learned to play a song for her. And he was a total music virgin a month ago. I mean, this is so over the top cheesy. But sometimes I gotta admit, the boy's got nerve.
The song isn't over yet. But Rose Weasley ignores this fact. She suddenly runs to the stage wildly and tackles Scopius to the ground. The Hall goes dead silent for a moment. Rose takes this opportunity to senselessly kiss him. And everyone starts to clap and the silence dies out.
I stare at the scene open mouthed.
"Wow, that was..."
"Really sweet." Louis finishes instead of me.
Well, I was going for pathetic, but ok. I glance at Faldo who's rolling his eyes at the hormone-driven pair which makes me chuckle.
Even with Scorpius and Rose still snogging each other faces off on the floor, the band returns to it's tunes. The next one is 'Magic Works' by the Weird Sisters. Louis swings me around. I look at his smiling face and something inside of me shifts. I glance at Faldo again. But this time, he's not alone. Ophelia is blushing beside him, whispering into his ear. Something kicks hard in my stomach. I put my palm over it.
"Are you all right?" Louis asks, worry written over his soft features.
I just smile in response. Thankfully, he drops the issue.
In the meantime, Faldo and Ophelia stroll to the dance floor, too. I gaze at them, as they begin a slow dance.
"Dora, do you want to sit?"
"Hm?" I look back to Louis.
"You seem distracted." He explains.
"No... Just... Excited."
Lame. I know. But Louis doesn't notice. He nods and pulls me even closer. I should be screaming from joy. I should be crying happy tears. But I'm not. At all.
I turn to face the pair again, swinging softly. Ophelia smiles tenderly and rests her pretty head on Faldo's chest. And all of a sudden he seems more tall, more elegant, more funny (She's laughing, too.), more... different than ever. Like I'm seeing him for the first time in my life. Even though I've know him since I was almost twelve. A fact he likes to point out. That I'm just a few months younger then him, but still so much more immature. All of that doesn't seem offensive any more.
And in that moment, which drags out like something's pulling it's ends in opposite directions, when I catch Louis staring at me like he sees me for the first time... That's the moment I receive my first kiss.
* * *
"Oh my wizard God!" Lee giggles scanning the front page of Marilyin's paper (No use in trying to credit anyone else for it, anymore.).
"Apparently, all eventually fall down." Roxy slides off the bench and lies into the first snow to grace Hogwarts' grounds this year.
It doesn't surprise us that it's this soon after such a warm October. The weather has gone crazy decades ago.
I follow her lead guided with the strong desire to melt into the cold white supstance and disappear.
"You actually kissed Louis." Charlie beams from above us. "That is so boss!"
If it wasn't for her brilliant spell to shield us from the snow furiously falling down, I'd slap her.
Ok, maybe not.
Still, her enthusiasm is beginning to unnerve me. Which is weird. I should be beaming up there, just alongside her. I should be making happy snow angels. Instead, I'm wondering if the cold can kill me. Right here, right now. So I don't have to face my boyfriend.
Yeah, he kind of called himself that.
"Please, Lee. Tone it down. Besides, I didn't kiss him. He kissed me."
"Even better!" She shierks. "He is so into your sassy arse."
I raise my eyebrow. Ok.
"I'm so going to get you married on a beautiful romantic island. Maybe in Greece. Oh the possibilities..." She sighs happily.
I glance at Roxy, completely terrified.
"Payback. What a bitch, ay?" She laughs.
I frown. Life is sometimes too ironic for my taste.
I get up suddenly, the Louis talk not sitting right with me.
"Listen, Lee. You're not goint to marry us."
"Oh, my Merlin!" She gasps. "You're not seriously making Roxy your made of honnor!"
"Should I be offended? 'Cause I'm totally not." Roxy adds in lazily with a big yawn.
I roll my eyes. "Break the spell, Lee."
"Come on, she doesn't even like weddings!" Lee whines.
"Lee." I warn her.
She sighs and mutters the counter spell. I turn around and start stalking away.
"Think it over, Dora!" Charlie shouts after me. " You'd look amazing in white with a Hawaii wind in your curls!"
I speed up to the castle. You can never get away from a wedding-talk obsessed Charlie Wood fast enough.
I end up in my room, exhausted and just desperate for some sleep. I need some time alone. I don't know what's going on with me exactly. Just need the rest. Really bad. I curl into my sheets, the blue color suiting me. Clutching to my pillow, I slowly breath in. I can't think now. Just wanna sleep...
"Isn't this a little ridiculous?" I chime, gigling madly like a child.
"Then why are you excited?"
If I could see his face, I'm sure he'd be wearing a highly self assured smirk. But I can't see anything. His palm feels warm over my eyes, though, and suddenly I'm not sure if I need to.
"Where are we going? I hate surprises." I tell him, even though I have a strong feeling he already knows this.
"Trust me, this one will be an exception."
I giggle some more. He puts his other hand on my waist and it sends warm shivers across my body. I jump up sligtly but he steadies me. As if he knows me so well. And then, his steps crumble and I follow his actions.
"We're here." He leans in and mutters into my ear, his voice sending all kinds of tingles down my spine.
The palm goes down and I slowly open my eyes. A loud gasp escapes my mouth. But it is instantly smacked with his smooth lips. For a second, I'm too sursprised to react. As if my body and my mind can't even comprehend this new feeling. Then, suddenly, I give in and wrap my arms around his neck. He presses me closer to him and our bodies embrace. I pull my hand through his thick locks. Then I stop only to get lost in his shimmery blue eyes. Those eyes... So familiar and warm, yet so new and distant. As if they are calling for me to find out more. There is more. So much more. I can feel it.
"You like it?" He whispers, his lips pressed to my cheek.
A small moan escapes me but I don't even care.
"I love it." I whisper back and we kiss again passionately.
I jump up from my bed, covered in cold sweat. My heart is pounding and I feel dizzy. I pull a hand through my hair only to find that it's soaking wet. And my body strangely warm. I look around, breathing heavily. No one's there. Thank Heavens!
I climb out slowly making my way to the bathroom. The light goes on and I stare at my pale reflexion. Those blue eyes are staring back at me. I turn around quickly. They remind me too much of...
What is happening to me? And why is the boy from my dreams suddenly sounding less like Louis and more like...
I choke on the thought and run outside, only one place visualizing in my mind.
* * *
I stare at the snowflakes slowly making their way to the distant ground. The fuzzy air is making me sleepy. But I need to stay awake. And think for a change. It doesn't help that the frisky air reminds me of a certain someone.
Why does he have to pop into my head at the most inappropriate of times? No, correction. Why does he have to pop into my mind at all? When just yesterday I've been kissed by my crush of two years. It doesn't make any sense. He's... he's my friend. And Louis... Louis is supposed to be perfect for me. Just the way I hoped he'd be.
But maybe what I wanted... Is not exactly good for me...
Or maybe I'm just so damn sleepy, I don't even know what I'm thinking!
"It's beautiful, isn't it?"
I jump up, loosing my balance for a moment. I turn around to be sucked in by those blue eyes. Why is blue everywhere? People should not be allowed to have such piercing, light eyes. Not even Faldo.
Especially not Faldo.
"Did I scare you?"
I glance up at him again. But just briefly. Suddenly it's like it hurts to look at him. Why am I feeling so... guilty?
I shake my head in response. So he decides to take his place opposite me. A strong sense of deja vu hits me. Only, this time, it's completely different.
"I figured you'd hide here."
I snap. "What do you mean hide?!"
"I'm sorry, Blue." He frowns. "Didn't mean anything bad. Just... After yesterday, I thought you'd want some time alone."
I look up at him startled.
I hate him. I hate him for knowing me so well. I hate him for not letting me know him like that. I don't even know why I care, honestly. He's such an know-it-all idiot.
I glare at him. But it turns into a genuine look against my will. I can't be angry at him. Even if he doesn't trust me like real friends do. But maybe...
He smiles slightly at my curious expression, obviously reading my mind.
"I wanted to tell you."
The silence falls over the Owlery. Not a single hoot is heard. Just the snowy wind blowing outside. Why is it suddenly so cold?
I tense up. So this is it? I thought it'd be more frightful. Not that I assumed he's hiding a secret mad scinece lab in the Room. Nope, not at all.
"Then do." I encourage him to step forward.
He takes one shaky breath in. Am I torturing him? Good. He's doing the same to me, making me feel guilty for kissing Louis. That's not human at all! Just outright mean!
I focus on his expression. He seems... empy. As if no emotion has ever crossed his face. But that's just the first impression. I can sense something deeper wanting to break through. Of course, he doesn't let it show.
"I used to think I had the perfect life." Faldo begins, his voice trembling just slightly.
Still, it surprises me. He's always so stren and collected. I didn't call him a robot for no reason.
"Asside from being an only child, that is. But I learned to live with it, through my friends."
I stare at him, excited. I mean, this is it. I'll finally find out why he's always sneaking around, with all of those books. Why he quit Quidditch and refused to be a Prefect. And just maybe why he acts like a jerk sometimes.
... Oh my Heavens, this is huge!
I feel a sudden urge to bite my nails. But I supress it.
It's all cool.
Faldo thankfully can't read my mind so he continues, letting a low sigh slip through. "I never... I never realized... Until I was eleven. Until I came back from Hogwarts for Chirstmas the first time around."
He looks at me, his eyes darker, heavier. Heavy with that secret that he has been carrying for far too long.
I nod my head, nudging him to continue.
Faldo smiles. It's the most heart breaking smile I've ever seen. It's a devastated smile. It's a rigid smile. It's a shadow of a smile. The smile that he has become so accustomed to.
"I was an accident, Blue."
"What do you mean... ?" I frown slightly at his unfinished words.
"I mean..." He gazes at me. "I was never supposed to be born."
I blink a few times, a strange feeling waking up inside of my body. A shiver, maybe. A deep, cold shiver. "Come on, you must be exaggerating."
"Oh, believe me, Blue. If anything, I'm underestimating it." He shakes his head. "I was the worst thing to happen to my parents."
I want to correct him and tell him that he's not a thing.
But he continues quickly, wanting to get it all out in one breath. "It was the day my mother was interviewed for her dream job at the university. She didn't get accepted. Of course, at the time, she was ignorant of the fact that the secretary mixed her with another girl with the same surname. She ran into a bar and decided to get drunk for the first time in her life. In the same bar my father's Quidditch mates were challenging him to seduce a plain muggle girl. He was a rising star and witches adored him. The guys were jealous and wanted to see if the spell worked anywhere else. Mother was so drunk that... It did. The next day, she got the call from work. She wanted nothing more but to ignore the previous night. Act like it was just a nightmare."
I wince at his voice. It's so cold. And I realize that he always seemed so robot like because he was training himself to look indifferent. Like it didn't care. Even now, when it's just me with him, he still can't shake off that habbit. It's grown into a reflex.
What did they do to him?
He breaths loudly again. "It soon turned into a real one when the consequences fell upon her. After some investigating, she found father..." He pierces me with a dim look, the emotions pressed back hard. "One month pregnant and delirious from anger."
I bite my lip, feeling like I'm going to break for him. Just so someone would act on all of this.
"But they had one thing in common. They were obsessed with their reputation. So... they married. Just so they could cover up the scandal, making it seem like there wasn't any to begin with. They fed everyone with a cute love at first sight story and how they dated secretly. And it was all so sweet and perfect. Within the walls of our house, they despised each other, though. They hated eacth other for making the most stupid mistake of their lives. But they were also too proud. Neither of them wanted to back out."
Faldo stops for a moment. And it's then that I can comprehend just how deep his pain is. He tries to stay stiff again. But this time, just a slight wince escapes him. "And it only got worse. On the other side, the acting just kept getting better. Perfect, actually. So perfect, I never noticed a thing. I guess I was too naive. But that's reasonable for a child, right? I was a child. But they took my childhood away from me."
His words echo the black notebook perfectly and I look at him again, wanting nothing more but to hold him. Comfort him. Tell him that everything's going to be all right. But how can I know that?
Suddenly, that hidden feeling in his gaze becomes more apparent. It's pure anger.
"They always thought about themselves. Never about me. Not once. I used to dream they'd fall back in love. Until I realized there was no love to fall back into, in the first place. They were just a pair of opportunists, scared of a bad reputation. I needed to get out. I needed to stop trying to force them to see me. That's why I was a top student. That's why I was a Quidditch star. I wanted to please both of them. Mother with my academics and father with sports. I thought... I foolishly let myself believe that they would love me then." Faldo glances at the blizzard trowing the white speck in front of us. Then he turns to me and I shudder.
"It never happened."
"But... They must feel at least some affection..." I try desperately, though it seems completely hopeless at this point.
He closes his eyes for a second. "Maybe. Maybe they do. But they never let me feel it. It's like they were constantly shoving it down eact other's throats. 'Look, I'm more miserable than you. Look, it's all because of you and this stupid mistake. I hate you!'"
He opens his eyes only to stare out at the sky again and the white surrounding the castle. It's like a contrast to the blackness of Faldo's story.
"At some point I had enough of it. I decided to screw them and be myself. Only, I never had my true self. I was trying too hard to be something that I wasn't, so I never found out who I'm supposed to be. Who I'd want to be."
Slowly and somewhat magically, all the pieces start to connect in my mind, making a big clear picture. I gaze up at him. He smiles lightly with such amazing strenght, that it puts me to shame that I'm whinning about anything. My life is fucking fabulous!
"So... that's essentially what I'm doing now. I'm searching for myself. And... " He nods to a thick book I just now notice is laying by his feet. "And I think I want to be a writer. That's why I'm reading all these books. They're literary classics of the wizarding world. Such an inspiration..."
I gape at him.
Everything flushes over me then. Our first meeting, how he was so confident, then the Christmas break, him returning so different and quiet, our first and worst fight, him never talking about his family, trying too hard to be the best in everything. And then suddenly, letting it all go. It all makes perfect sense now. So pefect, in fact, I can't believe I never suspected it had something to do with his family. Especially since he constantly avoided talking about them.
I glance at him again, while he's looking down at that random book. Longing for something good to happen to him. Wanting for this dream to become reality. A reality much brighther than the one I read about in his notebook.
And suddenly, I realize that, no, the Halloween moment wasn't when I saw the real Faldo for the first time. This is. This one. 'Cause there he is... a somewhat lonely boy, just yearning for happiness...
Something kicks inside of me and I trow myself into his arms, like I can't breath without him wrapping himself around my body. Without that suiting smell. Without his hair tickling my cheek. Without his lips touching my other cheek ever so lightly. I bury my fingers into his back, clutching to his shirt as to dear life. A sob escapes my lips. I don't even bother to cover it up.
I always thought Faldo was just so full of himself. All these years. When he was just so hurt. So broken. He needed help, but never got it. I finally understand.
And now, even though I love being left alone, I don't want to leave him. Ever.
* * *
The next thing I know is that we're sitting tightly next to eacth other, staring at my indigo butteflies making weird air saltoes.
"I wish I was in Paris now." I sigh.
Faldo doesn't answer. I glance at his profile, those long dark lashes leaning on his cheeks softly.
"You can come with me, if you want." I mutter, immediately feeling silly for doing so.
He gazes at me with a smile. "Why Paris?"
"Come on. Do you even have to ask? Like, seriously?"
Faldo laughs. I actually made him laugh.
I'm a genius.
"We should go. I'm sure you want to see Louis."
Ok, so I'm a really bad, bad human being. I just totally forgot about Louis. How is that even possible? I mean, sure, I didn't feel anything during our kiss. And sure, when he used the word boyfriend, I kind of winced. But still, have you seen that boy? I should be spazzing from giddiness. But somehow (Kill me if I know!), I'm doing the exact opposite. Plus, I'm with Faldo instead. How is this happening?
"We, um... We have time." I babble out.
Seriously, I should join Scorpius in that club. The 'Never open your mouth in public. Ever again.' club.
Faldo smiles, giving me an intense sideways look. "You actually made it. You didn't chicken out. I knew you had the nerve deep down."
Crap. Just shoot me, all right?!
"And..." I clear my throat, suddenly remembering something. "And Ophelia? You seem to like her."
"She's a great girl." He agrees.
What? What? Why is this feeling so bad?
"She reminds me of you."
Well, fuck. Why doesn't he just stab me now? I know Ophelia is my nicer and more beautiful look-alike. But he didn't have to point that out. Not him. Lee, I can forgive. But Faldo... It just hurts.
"But you're a lot more fun."
I quickly look at him just to see if I can catch a trace of his expression while saying it. But he's already smirking.
"And more whinny. And sarcastic. And freakishly tall. And dense. And a little annoying, too."
I gasp at the last one. No! He is the annoying one in this realitonship! He can not take that away and pint point it to me! It'd be so... not right.
I hit him in the arm forcefully.
"Urgh. I forgot that you're stronger, too." He jokes.
I cross my arms, huffing, while Faldo laughs with no shame what so ever.
And we're back to basis.
At that moment, a little girl with the most green eyes comes in with a letter, looking confused. She spots us and immediately hides her face with her scarlet scarf. Faldo and I share an entertained look.
"Can we help you?" I offer.
Ok. So I don't actually 'like' like children. What? Come on, you thought so too at least at some point in your life. I'm positive. You can't have a perfect experience with children. You just can't. One had to be annoying.
But this one is so cute that I actually have to say it out loud.
"You're adorable. Why are you hiding?"
Faldo raises an eyebrow at me and I roll my eyes. Like, seriously, get over it.
"You can kiss! I won't look! Pinky promise!"
Well, that's hard to believe when she's just peaking through the scarf. It's pretty much see through with all the crazy holes in it. I hate fashion scarfs. They make no sense.
And, now I'm sure I hate children again. Kissing? What is that child thinking before speaking?! Or is she even doing that? I'll have to go with-not. A frown crosses over my face.
Faldo, on the other hand, walks to her and crouches down. He lowers the scarf tenderly and reveales the girl's crimson blush.
"If I help you send the letter, will you go and hug that girl in return?"
I glare at him. Oh, this is so war.
She nods enthusiastically. What? Why is Faldo doing this?!
I watch as the girl calls her owl and Faldo carefully gives the animal the small letter. She tells him something I can't hear and Faldo ruffles her hair.
And suddenly, my heart aches for him again. I wish he had something like this. I wish someone ruffled his hair with care and love. I wish they let him be happy...
The girl then skipps to me and hugs me tightly. I trow a look at Faldo that clearly says 'I'm going to have my sweet revenge one day.' But honestly, when I catch his sweet smile, I know that's not true. If my awkward self makes him laugh, then so be it.
Wait, did I actually put Faldo in front of myself there?
Ok, I only now see why everyone keeps saying I hang out with him too much.
... Eh, not even gonna pretend I care.
'Cause you know what? I've just discovered that making Faldo happy... it makes me happy. So I'm still in the first place, you know. It's not like he means that much to me.
I smile to myself and squeeze the living daylight out of the girl, going against my pure nature. And I kind of enjoy it, too.
So. Sue. Me. I feel too good to have any regrets.
Yeah, until I remember Louis.
We've been together for a day (A day I mostly spent with Faldo, too.) and I already want to break up. Whaaat? That must be some kind of a record. Especially if you considere that I'm supposedly dating my dream guy.
Well, I did warn you I'm a freak, no?
A/N: And what a freak she is! :D So, I think you'll want to kill me for pairing Louis and Dora up in this. But let's just say I don't think you'll feel that way for too long. ;) I hope you enjoyed this one. Read and review! I love hearing what you think!
Chapter 12: The Why And The Because
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A/N: So sorry for the wait, guys. I had the chapter pretty much finished for days now but was just too busy to post it. But here it is, finally!
I hope you like it. It's a big chapter, word count and story wise.
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter, the brilliant JKR does.
The Why And The Because
"You've already won me over in spite of me
And don't be alarmed if I fall head over feet..."
"Head Over Feet", Alanis Morissette
Fourteen days. And about dozens of little quirks I learned Faldo owns. For example, he loves staying up and just looking through his window. He likes to hum silently when he's writing his homeworks. He enjoys Charms and is the best at it in his year. His favourite song is 'Little smiles' by The Centaurs. And he makes small talk with Nearly Headless Nick. He actually listens in History of Magic. I'm still not sure whether to believe him on that. Faldo's such a bookworm. Speaking of books, his favourite one written by a non-muggle is 'Days of Apparition'. Not quite the promising title, but he swears it's brilliant. I, in turn, promised I'd read it eventually. Also, he's currently writing himself. He doesn't let me read anything. For now, he says. He likes our uniforms as they smell purely of Hogwarts (And not home. But he'll never admit that's the reason.). Faldo is also a little scared of the dark. He won't admit that either. Which is kind of endearing.
And it goes on and on...
You know what I learned about Louis in this time span?
I don't want to be his girlfriend.
I know, I know. That sounds so major bitchy, right there. But I'm just being honest. I'll spare your time with my life lesson here. Never ever be with someone you're not into. Like, seriously. It will drive you mad. And if you go to say that you're already mad and that doesn't frighten you... Trust me, you'll want to change your mind.
"Oh, Heavens." I plop down onto the chair, frustrated. "I know he's your cousin, Roxy. But Louis is just not what I expected him to be. And not in a good way, either."
I'm such a troll. Seriously. Someone slap me. I don't get to find out if Roxy will, since someone interrupts us.
"And I know exactly why that's so." Lee creeps up from behind me and I jump up from my seat, startled.
"Lee!" I choke sligtly on my own saliva. "What did we say about you sneaking up on people?!"
"Oh, come on! I'm not that bad!" She rolls her burly eyes.
Roxy and I share a knowing look.
Lee stares at me, a little on the crazy side (Isn't she always?).
"I told you. It's a fantasy." She nods her head at me while sitting down. "About time you woke up."
I try to retort but Roxy suddenly decides to give me that slap. At least verbally.
"And what is so wrong with Louis anyway?!" She meddles, a little defensive.
I kind of tend to periodically forget that they're family. Maybe it's because Roxy is so strong and crisp while Louis is...
"He's just so... cheesy. Too cheesy. Too nice. Too pretty. And just... Too much!" I blurt out.
Wow. I wasn't even aware all of that wanted out.
"Who complains about a boy being too pretty? I'm sorry, Dora, you lost me there." Lee sits back and Accios a chocolate puding.
It's not like I understand it either. Following sheer logic, I should love Louis.
Just goes to show you what a weirdo I am. So, nothing new there.
A huff escapes me as I support my head with my hands.
I turn around to spot a very chirpy Scorpius mumbling a spell into his palm. Rose, maybe even more gleeful than her hyper boyfriend (Simpy must be a record! Someone take note of this!) gazes at him in anticipation. Soon enough, a beautiful lily materializes on his hand. Rose makes a disgusting awww sound and kisses him.
Seriously, what won't that boy do for a snog? Such a shameless snog bitch.
Still, as sickening as those two are, I'm happy for Scorpius. Plus, I really like Rose. Even more so now that they are together ( I didn't say that. Nope. It was just your imagination.). I can't get too sarcastic with them. It'd be mean. Even for me.
They all sit down and the small talk ensues. Lucky for me, Roxy apparently isn't into a fight anymore. I seriously don't know why I evoke her. Ever. It's like a mosquito poking a bear. It's laughable at first. But then you think about it and start fearing for the poor bastard's life. Roxy is simply a no-no in terms of fighting. You do not want to get on her bad side.
Between Scorpius' analysis of Quidditch strategies to which Roxy pays more attention than I thought she could master considering it's Scorp (Hey! Maybe this is why she dropped the Louis argument so fast. I knew I loved my Scorp for a reason!) and Rose's theory on snakes being just misunderstood gentle creatures (Every day I see more and more similarities she shares with her boyfriend. Let's just say it's not always fun being around them for too long.), a loud shriek breaks the air and I twirl around to watch in horror as Alice Longobottom falls to the ground in between the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor table. Professor Neville stands up urgently and runs to his daughter, who is laying on the stone lifeless. I try to reach her but the commotion is too big at this point. Her father picks her up and after unsuccessfully trying to wake her, he storms off, probably to the hospital wing.
I gape at them, my heart racing crazily.
* * *
I pace in front of the heavy door, Scorpius and Rose whispering in the background.
Scorp suddenly strolls to me and puts a gentle hand on my shoulder. "Dora, calm down. She'll be fine."
I nod. "You guys don't have to be here. I just wanna talk to her."
Lily gives me a strange look. Does she know, too? I didn't think about that. It would certainly make sense.
Roxy and Lee run to us, followed by a flushed Al and a puzzled Faldo who were called by the girls.
"How is she?" Al gives me a worried look.
I shake my head.
"What happened?" Faldo walks to me and squeezes my shoulder gently.
I tremble. "She, um... She fainted. Seriously, guys, it's probably just school stress. You don't have to be here."
"Alice and I've been friends since we were toddlers. We're like family. Of course I have to be here." Al shoots at me.
I blink, taken aback.
I guess I didn't think about how much Alice means to them all. Not just me.
And with Scorpius' Soulmate project, we all became rather close. He did a good deed and he isn't even aware of it.
I cast a look at him and Rose. She's leaning her head on his chest and holding his hand. Scorpius kisses the top of her head, all the time caressing her cheek.
I sigh and turn around to see Faldo gazing at me, an unfamiliar expression gracing his features.
That's when Professor Longbottom walks out from the hospital wing.
We all circle him with anticipation.
He smiles lightly, but the traces of his worry are still visible. "She's fine. You can go see her if you want."
Chaos ensues as we all try to get in at the same time and get stuck at the door.
"Stop, guys!" I shriek. "Please, let me go first. One by one. Ok?"
I hear some grumbling but we eventually agree it's for the best. Lily still stares at me, a curious expression on her face. I ignore it. Alice will tell her eventually.
I walk in, the smell of various potions surrounding me. The emptiness hits me like a sharp air. The hospital wing is so depressing. Thank Heavens I'm not that accident prone. I wouldn't be able to sit around here for too long. Or at all, for that matter.
Alice lays on the last bad in the corner, looking in front of her, lost in thoughts.
I near her slowly.
She glances up at me.
"I knew you'd come first." She smiles, albeit a little sad.
I smile back and sit next to her bed, taking her small hand. She looks so tired.
"Was it a really bad one?" I whisper, barely hearing my own voice.
She sighs. "Not precisely bad. Just very strong and visual. It took me by surprise."
"Does your dad know now?"
A beat of silence.
She then slowly nods. "I couldn't hide it anymore."
Alice tries to change her dismal expression but I can still see her hurt breaking through.
"You were right, Dora." She looks at me, steady. "I should have told him a long time ago. He wasn't mad."
"He loves you, Alice." I caress her palm. "He'll help you."
"I was stupid for thinking anything else, really." She agrees, a shy smile gracing her lips. "But I was just so... afraid."
"Of what?" I squeeze her hand.
Alice really brings out my motherly side. Not that I even knew I had one, until now.
"I'm a freak, Dora." She mutters, her eyes watering slightly. "I'm a burden. I didn't want him to have to deal with that. I don't want anyone to have. It should be just me. Always."
I stand up to hug her tightly, my heart breaking. "Don't be silly. I'm a freak, too. So what?"
She laughs into my hair, holding onto my body like it's her safety belt. "Thanks, Dora."
I sit back and study her face, wet from tears. "And lots of people love you. They want to see you, too."
"I know." She nods.
We sit in a short silence until Alice speaks again.
"They are a few good things that will come out of my... condition. That's the only thought that comforts me."
"What do you mean?" I'm curious.
She smiles, a little giggle escaping her. "Al will work on a potion that should be able to control the Seer's visions. You know, so they would stop doing what they did to me today."
"Oh, wow." I blink in surprise and astonishment. "Is he gonna be successful?"
She shakes her head. "Don't know. I haven't Seen that far into the future yet. But I Saw that he's pretty determined and supported."
Alice casts an absent gaze through the window. "He'll be happy in Spain."
"Oh." I utter, a bit dumb struck. "So you know that he's-"
"I know." Alice cuts me off, biting her lip.
"Well, I'm sure he'll make it. When he sets his mind onto something..."
"At least it'll bring him recognition." Alice smiles slightly. "That's good enough for me. And the fact that he's trying. Because of me. I inspired him."
"Well, will inspire him, to be precise." She chuckles. "It's a nice thought."
She then looks at her hands resting loosely in her lap, a faint blush creeping to her cheeks. I smile to myself, but let the assumption go. My wild imagination tends to scare people off. So I'll just keep this to myself. Until I break, that is. Knowing me, it won't last long.
"So, you're gonna tell him." I nod instead.
She shrugs. "I'll tell them all today. I think that they deserve to know."
I rub her back tenderly. "I really admire you, Alice."
"Why?" She grins but I can tell that she's taken aback, too.
"You could go out there and tell everyone that you're a Seer. You'd become famous. You could make such business out of it. But instead, you choose to use your Sight for good."
"Oh, Dora." She shakes her head at me. "It's quite the opposite, actually. I'm hiding and it's because I'm scared. And I could never master telling people their future. Not all of them have a happy ending, you know."
She gives me a sad smile. I nod, understanding completely.
"Telling you guys will be hard enough." She mutters again, her words barely over a shaky whisper.
I hug her tightly. "I know. Loving someone, opening up to people, it's always scary. But if it isn't... Well, I don't think it's love in the first place."
"Talking about Louis now, aren't you?" She smirks.
I open my mouth, trying to say something, and stare at her for a moment, ending speechless instead. Sometimes I forget how well she got to know me. And I'm not talking about her visions.
"I hate you."
She giggles and pulls away to gaze at me. "I know, Dora."
"He's not the one for me. I know, too." I sigh, understanding what she's aiming at.
"So what are you doing then?"
I glance up at her.
Really, what am I doing?
* * *
"And thanks to Roxanne Weasley, Kevin Jordan just scored! Ten points for Gryffindor!"
Roxy does one of those terrifying looking saltoes which make my stomach drop.
"Why does she have to do that?! It looks dangerous!" I squint at her tiny figure.
Faldo laughs. My stomach suddenly does a salto of it's own.
I still trow him a dirty look. He tries to fake a serious face. Major fail, Faldo. Major fail.
"You think this is funny?" I glare.
"No. It's just you who I find funny, I'm afraid." He now bursts into a loud laughter.
"Guys, guys, shut up, I'm trying to look at Dorian!" Charlie hushes us, her eyes fixated on the tall flying figure.
"Dorian? As in Dorian Thomas? As in Rose Weasley's ex boyfriend?"
I'm afraid of the answer.
"Duh. Is there any other Dorian at our school?" Lee rolls her eyes at me.
"Shhh!" He waves a hand at me and concentrates on the handsome Thomas again.
I sigh. Ever since Sam gave his girlfriend an engagement ring a couple of days ago (I mean, seriously. They're seventeen. Who does that?), Lee has been going boy-crazy. And I don't mean, regularly boy crazy. It's Charlie crazy. That's a whole other level of scary. The first poor and unsuspected target was that Hayden guy. Yeah, the pretty one. What? He does have some quite fascinating eyes. But Dorian Thomas? Won't Rose be angry? I know she's dating Scorpius now and all. Still... He was her second boyfriend. Doesn't that count for something?
Apparently, in Lee-land, it doesn't.
And speaking of the couple... Rose and Scorpius approach us, giggling at each other in between kisses. I snort. Faldo rolls his eyes. On the other hand, Lee would be vomiting rainbows if that was humanly possible.
"Oh, how cute." She sings.
"Faldo, hold me. I'm getting sick just looking at them."
He puts his arm around me. I start to laugh but suddenly it turns into something different than amusement. I steal a glance at him. He looks down at me. My breath cuts short.
"Guys, it's our first two week anniversary!" Scorpius yells at us and Faldo and I back up from each other with a jump. "We need to celebrate this!"
I clear my throat. "Heavens, I thought at least Rose would be more logic-driven."
"Seriously?" Faldo asks. "Isn't she the girl who kisses every boy who sings her 'Blue Eyes'?"
I nod, shrugging. "Touche."
"You are just jealous of our love." Scorpius mocks.
Rose giggles and kisses him a bit longer than I wanted to see. Not that I enjoy watching their kissing, at all.
"And Gryffindor wins!"
We all look in the air to see Roxy twirling in large circles doing some kind of a victory dance. Owen flies to her and they embrace shortly. I blink at the scene. But don't have time to really proceed it, as Albus walks to us, looking extremely mopish.
"Guys... We need to talk."
* * *
I follow Albus with a tense look as he nervously walks across the RoR. Everyone is still. I glance at Faldo, who glances back as if asking me-do you know anything about this?
I bite my lip. He raises his eyebrow.
"So..." Albus finally begins, after a twenty minutes pacing session.
"Al, I love you mate, but seriously. Hurry up. Rose and I need to plan our little party."
"Scorpius." He hushes him, blushing deeply. "That was supposed to be a private party. Don't tell everything."
"Urgh." I shudder.
Faldo smiles at me.
"I know, I'm sorry that I'm stealing your precious new-lovers time." He sighs. "And I'm sorry I chose this day, but if I didn't do it today, I think I'd burst."
"What's going on?" Faldo whispers into my ear.
I gulp slightly and move a little further away from him. "Just listen."
Albus steadies himself, closing his eyes for a moment to calm down. Then he looks at us all with great intensity.
"I... I'm moving to Spain this summer. Probably permanently."
I swear I can hear Lily breathing heavily from across the Room. That's how thick the silence is for a few seconds. Until...
"What?!" James stands up from his chair even knocking it down in the process.
"You can't do that! What about mum and dad-"
"They know." Al interjects trying hard to keep his cool. "And they approve."
Lily looks outright lost. And Scorpius and Rose are staring at Al as if he just declared he was Voldemort incarnated.
Faldo pulls me lightly to him. I gasp.
"I'm sorry, but it wasn't my thing to tell."
He breaths out and finally smiles, nodding his head. "I know. Sorry."
He stands up and walks away and I suddenly feel dizzy.
What is going on?
"Al." Faldo gives his friend a questioning look. "Is it for the Fine arts of potion making thing?"
Al nods wincing, probably expecting the worst.
"I'm happy for you." Faldo embraces him, leaving Al surprised and with a slight smile.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not." James storms out before anyone can go after him.
"Well, fuck. I sure as hell wasn't expecting this." Roxy lets out a deep breath. "Except for James' reaction. That was pretty spot on."
"Roxy, no swearing!" Lee reminds her with a loud hiss.
* * *
"Do you think James will come to his senses?" I ask Faldo as we near the common room after the disaster of Al's announcement.
Everyone went into another direction that night so it was just the two of us.
Just the two of us. Why is this sentence suddenly sounding so terrifying?
"Well, you know him better." He shrugs.
I nod. "You're right."
Don't listen to me. I'm just babbling.
Heavens. Why can't I keep myself together?
I suddenly freeze.
I know that voice.
Oh, this is not good. Not good at all.
I turn around to see Louis staring at Faldo and I practically glued to each other. When did that happen again?
I shoot him an earnest look. "Y-yeah?"
"I've been looking for you forever. Where have you been?"
I bite my lip. "Al had some news for us. You should probably find James. He's very upset and you're his best friend."
"What were the news?" Louis keeps on staring.
Crap, why does he seem like it's weird for me to stand next to Faldo?
Is it weird?
"You should really talk to Al about that." I suggest.
He nods. "Ok. Are we going to dinner together later, then?"
"Well, I was thinking about finishing my Potions essay... But if you want to, I can do it later."
"No, it's fine. I guess I'll see you tomorrow, then?"
I smile in agreement.
Louis nods his head at Faldo, who nods back, and then stalks off.
It's no wonder Louis has been looking for me 'forever'. I've been making sure we don't meet. Even at the match. I only went because I knew he was busy with school.
I am so going to hell. And if there isn't any hell to go to, someone should definitely invent one just for me. I honestly deserve it.
"Do you need help with that Potions essay?" Faldo asks when we enter the common room finally. "I know it's not your favourite subject. To put it lightly."
He smiles at me, his bright eyes seeming more blue than ever. When he looks at me like this, I just loose all of my rationality.
"There's no essay. I was kind of lying." I gulp.
Why did I blurt that out? Why? Faldo doesn't need to know! Damn his soul piercing stare!
"But why?" He frowns, confused.
"I-I... Ok, you want the truth? Fine! I don't like Louis!"
Ok... Well... I guess now that I've said it... There's no turning back, right?
"I mean... I like him... as a friend. But not as a boyfriend."
The silence is killing me. Come on, Faldo, say something. Tell me I'm immature. Tell me I'm an idiot. Anything!
"Dora, what you're doing is really wrong. You have to tell him."
I huff. Why is it that sometimes, even though he says exactly what I need to hear, I'm not happy about it? Maybe I'm still getting used to embracing the fact that he's always so bloody right! Whilst I... Let's just say my feminine intuition isn't exactly eager to help me out.
"I know, I know. Don't preach now, please. My head is about to explode."
He smiles. "I know how you feel."
I glance at him. "Al?"
He nods, sighing. "I know I should be happy for him and I said that I am, but... I just keep thinking... I'm going to loose my best friend. And I'm not ready for that. Not now."
I take his hand lightly.
He laughs. "We're so bad, aren't we?"
"True that. But who cares?" I shrug. "I still think you're amazing."
As soon as my declaration leaves my mouth, I squint. What did I just say?
Maybe it's not that bad.
Ok, Faldo's staring at me. So it is pretty bad. I swallow hard.
I look up at him and his genuine smile. And I can't help but smile back.
"Come on." He pulls me toward the fireplace. "Let's play some good ol' chess."
"You know I'll kick your arse, Faldo. Like always. Why even try?" I return with a smirk.
"Maybe because I like it when you kick my arse."
I loose my grip and follow him with a long gaze as he sits next to the fireplace. The warm flickers light his face, bringing out his mesmerizing eyes. He smiles at me.
"Do you really think I'm a bad person?"
He stands up and walks to me. I look up at him (Yes, he got even taller in these past few months. ).
Why am I staring at his lips, though? They never seemed so fascinating before. No, they weren't fascinating at all.
"To quote you, Blue-I think you're amazing."
I'm not sure why, but I let out a laugh. Faldo smirks in return.
Then I go to sit in the corner, Faldo following my lead. We get the chess table out and place the black and white figures on the right fields with our wands. His hair is falling down again, blocking his eyes. Thank Heavens for that. His looks are so hard to handle these days.
We play and, of course, I kick his arse. But like he said, he doesn't mind. We get stuck in the common room until after midnight. Until I'm sure I took his mind of Al's transfer just enough for him to laugh and have a good time.
It's strange. I have become somewhat protective of Faldo. I like it when he's smiling and it hurts when he's not.
That's why, almost the whole night, I try to think of ideas on how to cheer him up tomorrow.
Finally, around two o'clock in the morning, after shifting for the thirtieth time, I get it.
Now I only have to persuade Al.
Piece of cake.
* * *
It turns out, it's not as easy as I thought it would be. Persuading Al, I mean. Which makes me sad. That was probably the only thing I was perfect in.
"Al, come on. Just give it to me!"
"No, Dora!" Al glares at me. "If you asked for anything else, I would. But the invisibility cloak-just no! Dad made me promise-"
"Al!" I grab his collar and he gulps.
I stare into his emerald eyes with such intensity, even I'm a little afraid of myself. "Listen to me, you little Spain freak. Faldo loves you. You're like a brother to him. A brother he never had. You know he's lonely and when you leave, he'll be even more so. Sure, he has Scorp. But there's a reason he told you everything and not him. You're more than a friend to him. You're his family. And considering his parents, I think you are his only true family. So, you little slime, you are going to give me that cloak and let me cheer him up. Maybe it will take his mind of your transfer long enough for him to laugh a little. And if you don't want him to be happy, well, then... I'll be ashamed to ever have called you my favourite cousin."
I let him go and Al stumbles back. He breaths slowly and then gives me a long, deep look.
"He told you?"
I sit on the lazy bag that the Room summoned up for me, crossing my arms. Al takes his seat next to me, all the way staring senseless. I nod slowly.
Al smiles. "You really care about him, don't you?"
"Well, so-so." I shake my hand.
Al laughs. I glare at him.
"Dad made me promise to only use it when it's highly necessary. You know, life threatening emergencies. But..."
Al's looking at me with a mixture of admiration, love and pride. It's a very humbling look. I don't think I deserve all of that.
"I think you're right. It is highly necessary and important to me that Drake laughs and is happy. So..."
I perk up at his words with hope.
"I will give it to you."
I squeal and hug Al. He struggles to breath for a moment. Then, he pats my back in a warm, brotherly way.
"But I wouldn't worry about him that much. He'll have you." He winks at me.
I blush slightly, unable to come up with a witty comment this time around.
Al stands up abruptly. "Come on, let's get the cloak."
I smile and take his offered hand.
Heavens, I'll so miss persuading Al.
* * *
"Blue, what is this all about?" Faldo yawns, barely awake.
He looks adorable in his black jumper and jacket, all wrapped up in a blue scarf.
Wait. What?! I said adorable again?
"Just follow my lead."
We finally reach a deserted corridor. You know, with Hogwarts being so big, you'd expect there to be more of them.
Faldo lets go of my hand and I reach for my bag. I pull the cloak out, grinning mischievously.
He raises an eyebrow.
"What is this? Halloween part two?"
"Will you shut up already?"
I stretch the fabric and Faldo's eyes grow bigger. I'm pretty sure he gasped a little, too.
"Ah-ha. Now get your arse over here."
I pull him toward me. Our bodies almost collide. I look up at him, feeling a little lost. What was I going to do again?
I trow the cloak over us. It barely covers us as we are both giants, apparently.
"What are you doing, Blue?"
"I'm fulfilling a promise I made."
"Shh. Just go with it."
We go down to the first floor, thankfully without being noticed.
But just as we near the entrance door, I hear a voice. I turn around to see Filch with Mrs Norris, The Fourth. That man is just way too persistent about having a cat named Mrs Norris. It creeps me out.
"What is it, Mrs Norris?" He follows her, frowning (Translated, with his usual facial expression.).
The cat nears us. I almost gasp but Faldo covers my mouth and we go backwards slowly, behind a column. For a moment, the only sound I can hear is his heart beating against mine. And the only thing I can feel is his body pressed on mine. I gaze at his soft profile while he waits for Filch to go away. Finally, as that happens, he turns to me.
"Uh-yeah, ok. So... Yes! Let's go."
He smiles at me as I pull him toward the door. We succeed to get outside, the cold air hitting us hard.
I gasp. "We made it!"
"So, then, will you finally tell me where are we going?"
"Patience, young mister." I mock.
"You do realize that I could just turn around and leave you, right?"
My heart drops a little. "Will you?"
"And miss a chance to see what craziness you've come up with? Never."
I chuckle. "Then, move it."
After we leave the school's grounds for good, I take the cloak off. I cast a look at Faldo, taking in his tall figure. He sure has grown in these past months. For years he was barely the same height as I. And it really made sense that he would call me freakishly tall. Now, with him being six feet and two inches tall, I think he does it only with nostalgia. I don't mind it anymore, though. Like a lot of things I don't mind about him these days...
Soon, we reach Hogsmead and Faldo smirks at me.
"Get it now?" I smile.
"You're really something, Blue."
I look away, trying to cover up the blush.
No one really notices that we're too young to be here since the school visits haven't started yet. Maybe it has to do with the fact that both Faldo and I dress like we're in our twenties. Just a bit too serious.
We walk to 'Sweet Lavander' in silence, only the wind whispering around us.
The store screams sweet, so the name is really appropriate. Faldo and I start looking at all the candies, our eyes hurting from all the bright colors.
"Hello, my loves!"
I jump up, hitting Faldo in the process.
Miss Brown, the owner, strides to us, wearing the biggest smile ever.
I heard stories about her before and I shopped here countless of times, but she still scares the crap out of me. Or, maybe that's exactly why she does.
She has become known as the most man loving single woman of all England. Has had countless of partners and never settled down. Instead, she loves the romance. And, as soon as a man would start loosing interest, she would break off, yearning to preserve the sweet memory of their first days. She has a 'love board' hanged over the counter, too. And she's not at all ashamed of how many romances he had. Actually, she kind of takes pride in it.
"Can I help you, love birds?" She winks at us, her big eyes popping out of her pink glasses.
"We're not-" I begin but she cuts me off.
"I have the perfect thing for you!"
She storms off into the room behind the counter. Faldo and I try not to look at each other. I didn't know this would be so embarrassing. What was I thinking, though? It is Lavander Brown, after all.
She soon comes back, carrying all sorts of heart candies.
"Miss Brown, we really..."
"Take all of these, please! Seeing young love like yours, it takes me back..."
She sighs and wanders into a daydream. Faldo and I take this opportunity to actually look through the real sweets.
Every kind has a test sample so Faldo tries a bunch of them. I giggle as he eats one that he claims tastes like a rotten chicken with pickles. He forces me then to try it myself. I don't know what he's talking about, though. It's delicious! The boy clearly has no taste. Or rather, he was raised to eat bull. I gaze at him again, as he smiles while chewing carefully. Like a bomb is going to explode any second. Or his stomach, for that matter. It's quite sad that he never had all the joys a child should have. I wish I knew him back then. Of course, we would still fight. But, in the end, I'm sure I'd come to like him. Just like I do now.
"Wow, I actually like this one." I hear him say and wake up from my daydream.
Wait... I just had a daydream... about Faldo?
I bite my lip. So ok... This is... new.
Faldo shows me the candy, interrupting yet another daydream emerging.
"Rabbit lick?" I frown at him, eyeing the rabbit shaped sweet that wobbles it's long ears cheerfully. "Are you joking?"
"Why?" He seems confused.
"That's the least sweet of all sweets."
"Well, I like it." He crosses his hands over his chest.
His firm, broad chest...
I shake my head. "All right. I guess it's some kind of a progress. But we're coming back in December and I will force you to eat pumpkin pie!"
He looks scared. Why does it make him all adorable again, though? I giggle.
"Merlin, Blue. You're weird."
"Well, look who says it, mister I-love-healthy-food."
"Really?" Miss Brown finally wakes up from her haze. "Good gracious, boy. Live a little."
He frowns. I laugh.
After an additional fifteen minutes, we leave the store. Not without the blessing of love goddess herself.
"How can you handle her?" Faldo shudders.
"I usually just ignore her." I shrug. "But she was very persistent today. Probably because I finally brought a boy along."
As soon as I say it, I blush furiously. What is wrong with me?
"Well, you do have a boyfriend now. Maybe you can take him." He mutters.
I let a few beats of silence pass before I answer.
"I'm going to break up with him."
Heavens, I have no self control.
"Oh." Faldo says shortly. "I though you'd try to work on it."
"It's not meant to be." I return a bit too fast.
"Meant to be?" Faldo smirks, teasing me. "So you do believe in fate?"
I shrug. "Maybe a little. But don't tell anyone."
When we near the castle again, I trow the cloak back on us. When Faldo presses himself next to me, my breath hitches. The walk becomes somewhat too intense. I try to act like this is all so cool. Like his presence is not nerve wracking at all. And the thing is, it wasn't before. But today, it's like all the rules that applied before suddenly vanished. And it's just us. Faldo and I. Alone. Close. And I can hear his heart beat. And it scares me. It scares me how scared I am. Scared he'll notice that I'm trembling. And scared because... What the fuck is going on with me?
We reach the Ravenclaw entrance, which is thankfully deserted. But even so, I don't take off the cloak.
I just stare at him.
"What is it?" He whispers, his eyes burning mine.
And I seriously have no clue what I'm thinking. I just ... I'm...
I'm kissing him.
I'm kissing him!
It's terrifying because it feels like I'll break any second now. And it's so hot beneath the cloak. And I can't feel anything but his lips.
But he's not moving. He's not kissing back. Oh, no. No!
Dora, what are you doing?!
That's when I remember that-hey, I have a boyfriend. And Faldo is definitely not him.
I back off only to see a lost expression on Faldo's face.
No, no, no!
I take off the cloak and run off maniacally.
I can feel my eyes burning from tears. And it hurts. It hurts like hell.
I climb into my bed, ignoring both Lee and Ophelia asking me what's wrong.
Don't they see?! Everything is wrong!
I bury my head into the pillow and stay awake 'till the morning, crying myself into sleep finally at five o'clock, completely exhausted. Physically, too. But mostly emotionally.
* * *
I jump up and turn round quickly, my heart climbing to my throat.
"Oh, thank Heavens it's only you, Roxy." I breath out.
"What are you doing here?" She frowns at me.
Here is at the entrance of the Great Hall, peaking into it, trying to figure out what Faldo's doing.
"Nothing." I shrug innocently.
"You can't lie. Why even try?" She rolls her eyes, clearly annoyed.
"Are you coming to dinner or what?" She starts to pull me in.
Roxy stares at me.
"I mean, no, thanks. I'm full." I cough. "Hey, do you think you could call Louis here. But discretely?"
She rolls her eyes at me, again. "Fine."
I take the opportunity as she leaves and steal a glance at Faldo.
He's failing at eating, as he's staring at the wall behind Al. Poor Al, doesn't even know that no one's listening to him. Since, you know, Rose and Scorp really like each other and Lee is no where to be seen.
Then I finally notice that Louis is coming my way.
I take a deep breath.
Ok, so this is going to be hard. I suck at this so bad. Just remember Tate. It took me months to tell him off.
Louis finally reaches me.
"Dora." He nods his head and crosses his arms.
What? Not even a kiss? He's usually so eager to give me one. Or two. Or dozens. Not that I enjoy them that much. But still. I kinda got used to them.
"Louis, can we go somewhere and talk? In private?"
"Sure." He shrugs, but keeps the cold face on.
The walk to the Astronomy Tower which Louis chose, is so quiet, I want to claw my eyes out. Probably the most awkward ten minutes of my life. Until it's time to tell him why I dragged him out here in the first place.
I clear my throat and open my mouth theatrically, but Louis cuts me off.
"Dora, you said you hate confrontations, so I'm going to spare you." He sighs. "I know you want to break up."
Oh. Well that was faster than I though it would be.
"It's ok." He smiles at me. "It's better like this. The faster you realize that you want out, the better for the both of us, really. You're doing the right thing, Dora. And I'm not mad."
I smile back, suddenly feeling a great deal of affection toward him. "How are you so perfect?"
He laughs. "Trust me, I'm not. I just have more experience in this than you. Listen, I like you. But I'm not in love with you. So-"
The way he was behaving, you'd think he was obsessed with me.
Louis laughs again. "I know I can come off strong. I'll try to work on that."
I go and hug him awkwardly. "Thanks, Louis. I'm sorry it didn't work out."
"But it could have." He whispers into my hair. "If only you wanted."
I back away to look at him, confused. "What do you mean?"
"Dora, it's pretty obvious." He cups my cheek tenderly. "You didn't want us to work. And it's because you're in love with Drake."
I stare at Louis as if he suddenly spoke in an alien language and I'm desperately trying to comprehend what he's saying. But I fail.
He pats my back. "Tell him. I have a feeling he'll like what you have to say."
With that and a small wink, Louis walks away.
And I stand there in the Tower, alone.
And it all comes back to me.
The way Faldo looks at me in that warm, gentle way, when the fire lights his eyes in a soft shade by the fireplace; when he gives me the most amazing smile and tells me that he doesn't remember ever having so much fun; when we stand in front of my dorm and he gives me a quick peck on the cheek and I gaze at him long enough to notice every dot in his eyes; when he pats my back like we're long time buddies; when he brushes that strand of hair off his forehead; when he sings-oh, Heavens, how he sings; when he tries to act all innocent even though I know he's been stealing my pens; when he gets angry when someone still bullies me because of my dad; when he stares sometimes at little siblings sharing meals, the yearning for one so apparent; when he whispers into my ear making me feel all warm inside; when he looks so strong even though every mention of Al going away makes him wince slightly; when he asks me if I'll ever eat a carrot in my life and looks all serious about it; when he thoughtfully wakes me up when I fall asleep on the common room table writing an essay; when he gives me that look when I say something outrageous; when he sometimes just randomly squeezes my arm; when he thinks I'm brave when no one else does, and when I kissed him...
I just know.
And I stand there, alone, my heart beating in madness.
I place my hand over it, not able to catch a breath. Not able to be still.
I leave the Tower, shaking when I lay in my bed that night.
And when I can't fall asleep from the loud beating in my chest, not even for a second, his smile dancing in front of my eyes like some sort of a dream...
I finally know.
A/N: And she knows! :D Oh, Dora, why so slow, right? Hehe, I would really like to hear your oppinion on this chapter since it's kind of huge.
Plus, Dora was a bad girl considering Louis, wasn't she? I hope you still like her, though. :) No one's perfect. Tell me in a review! :D
Chapter 13: You Inspire Me
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You Inspire Me
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
I am looking for an inspiration
And I think I found it in your heart
It's the kind of thing you get when you're not looking
It's the kind of thing you had from the start
"Don't Take Your Love Away", Vast
I've been successfully avoiding Faldo for three very tiring days. Tiring 'cause, well... You can't even imagine how sociably active that boy is. I knew beforehand that people find him great. But I didn't realize just how much until I started going out of his way. It's like, I can't even talk to anyone because at some point they'll notice Faldo and wish to chat with him, too. It's hard staying away. But I have to hide.
I mean, can you blame me? I bloody kissed the guy! And then, he didn't return the kiss. And on top all of that, I realized I'm in love with him! How do you behave after that? Come on, enlighten me! I'd sure want to hear some good suggestions.
Only, there aren't any! Because I made such a fool out of myself that it's impossible to look him in the eyes anymore. Thankfully, I'm still semi suceessful at this whole avoiding affair.
Such a natural genius, aren't I?
I jump up again. Again, 'cause I've been doing that non stop these past three days. Nothing to do with my irrational fear that it's Faldo. Every. Single. Time.
Thankfully, it turns out it's only Al. And he's looking at me with curious eyes.
"What are you doing behind that shelf there?" He frowns at me.
I glance at the old book shelf desperatelly, trying to make up a cogent excuse as fast as I can.
What was I doing, really?
Well, see, I was reading that damned book Faldo suggested. Because, you know, I'm such a looser, remembering every little detail about him. That's when he walked into the library. Fortunately, I noticed him before he noticed me. So I did the only rational thing.
"Is Faldo still here?" I blurt out.
Damnit! Now Al will know I'm avoiding him. Why am I so stupid?!
"No. Are you avoiding him?"
"No-o?" I try.
He laughs, seeing perfectly through my failed attempt. "Dora, come out."
I growl but still listen to him, leaving my hiding spot to step out on the dark corridor.
Al pats me on the back affectionately. "What did you do this time?"
"Why do you assume I did something?!"
He raises his eyebrow.
"Ok, it was totally me." I moan. "I made a stupid mistake and now everything is so fucked up between us."
Al continues to look at me, nodding his head lightly and waiting for the full explanation to come.
Should I tell him?
Oh, what the heck. If I can keep his secret, he will do so with mine, too. I'll make sure of it.
In spite of myself, I start to stutter. "I-I..."
Breath, Dora. Breath. Remember air? It's actually good for you.
I bite my lip.
"You're in love with him?"
I blink at Al who begins to laugh.
"How did you know?!" I hiss.
Al hushes me as the Library lady starts to look around for the source of yelling. We hide deeper into the library, where it's completely deserted. And kind of scary, too. I shouldn't have snickered when Faldo confessed about his slight fear of the dark. I'm actually going to start believing this whole karma ordeal is real.
If Lee ever hears of this, I will never get the end of it, will I?
Al must have sensed my fluster, since he picks his wand and casts a soft Lumos. The library lady doesn't notice as we are too deep in the back of the room at this point.
"How did you know?" I repeat in a hushed voice.
"Well, it was kind of obvious, really." He shrugs with nonchalance.
Oh my Heavens, do they all know?! Are they having RoR meetings every weekend without my knowledge and organizing betting polls on my love life? Oh Heavens, they totally are, aren't they?!
"Dora, calm down." Al chuckles upon sighting my freaked out expression. "You're acting like I said I'm going to kill you."
"Well, you are." I squeak madly. "If you tell anyone, I'm actually going to die!"
He smiles at me and pats my head.
I hate him.
Clearing my throat, I cast a curious look in his direction. "So... when did you..."
"I began suspecting it when I caught you staring at him a couple of times." He explains.
Oh, come on. When did I do that?!
Ok, so maybe I've been doing that a lot lately.
Still. I thought it was subtle enough. Guess I'm just not that good of an actress.
"But I let it go." Al adds briskly. "Then, when you attacked me with your rather scary words just to get the cloak and help him... I knew it was more serious than just a flighty attraction."
I open my mouth to trow my witty response at him but, of course, nothing comes out.
I'm pathetic. Seriously now.
Al takes my hand gently. "Dora, I love you, but you're so blind sometimes. It was right there in front of you, this whole time. And you just kept insisting on Louis. It was ridiculous. I mean, yes, Louis is a great guy and he's my cousin, but... he's just not Drake. Am I right?"
I swallow hard, realizing the simplicity and complete truth in that one statement.
But he's just not Drake.
Why did it take me so long to see that? It didn't matter if Louis was funny and warm and a hell of a lot handsome. What mattered was the fact that... it was Faldo all along. And Louis couldn't compare. Not even if he was perfect (Which he is not. Just saying.)
Simple as that.
"Well, if you were so smart, why didn't you tell me anything?!" I bark at him with anger, but it's really directed at myself and my procrastination.
"Because... It wasn't my thing to tell." He winks at me.
I sigh and close my eyes, a sharp toil pressing me down.
"So..." Al continues slowly, breaking the heavy silence. "When are you going to confess it to him?"
My eyes flutter open dramatically. "Never!"
Al frowns, raising an eyebrow at me. "So you're just going to avoid him for the rest of your lives?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"That plan sucks big time." He mocks.
"Shut up." I cross my arms and pout like the whiny oversized baby that I am. "Let's see you come up with a better one."
He tries to speak but I beat him to it. "One that doesn't actually involve telling the truth!"
Al sighs, clearly giving up. "You're so stubborn."
"No, I'm persistent." I correct him.
"That's just a fancy way of telling me that you're pigheaded."
I stick my tounge out at him.
Al rolls his bright eyes. He takes a book from the shelf (One about making potions, of course.) and sends one last chaste look in my direction.
"This is your chance to be brave, Dora. Maybe you should consider taking it."
Al squeezes my shoulder softly and leaves me in the dark shadow of the shelf to feel exhausted and empty.
And a bit guilty, too.
I hate that feeling.
And why do they all play on the bravery card with me, anyway? Like seriously, I'm not a Gryffindor for a reason! I wish someone would understand that for a change!
Even though I like it when Faldo supports my rare courage.
Heavens, I’m a complete emotional wreck.
* * *
The plan to avoid Faldo for the rest of our lives goes perfectly.
That is, until around eight o'clock the next evening, when I spot him coming out of the Great Hall with Al and Scorpius. The fact that he also looks great doesn't help. At all.
"Blue?" He notices me and his voice breaks a little.
Or that might just be my heart.
I squeal and start running. My head races like mad as I stumble to the first door. I try to open it forcefully and hide inside the classroom, hopefull that Faldo won't find me. (I am so full of brilliant plans lately. Really, why am I in Ravenclaw, again?) But I find that the door is locked. As I feel the panic overtaking me, I mutter a quick Alohomora and storm in.
But when I turn around, I almost wish I was back outside again. Actually, I do wish I was outside.
My eyes grow wide as I stare at Roxy and Owen practically eating each other's faces off. Also, Owen's hand is dangeroulsy close to Roxy's... you know. No? Well, her... behind.
I shriek and cover up my eyes maniacally.
"Oh Heaves, oh Heavens! Can I unsee this, please?!"
"Dora!" Roxy runs to me and puts my shaky hands down.
I glance at her flushed face. Then at Owen's parted lips. Than at Roxy's untidy skirt. Then at his tie on the floor. Then at her...
"Dora! For Snitch's sake, snap out of it!" Roxy shakes me a little.
"I can't." I stare at her. "Too. Stunned."
She rolls her eyes, annoyed. "Like you didn't know, Sherlock."
"I didn't! I swear! I'm... I'm not that observant anymore..."
I trail off thinking of Faldo and how he really was there all this time. More precisely four years. And I didn't notice.
"What the fuck are you talking about? Dora, you're scaring me." Roxy stares at me, worried.
I look back at her. And at Owen, who's blushing furiously.
"Are you guys in love?" I mutter under my breath before I even realize what it is that I’m asking.
It's as if that's all I'm thinking about these days.
It scares me. I'm not supposed to be so mawkish. That's Lee. I'm sarcastic. I'm realistic. I'm sane. I'm not in love.
Except, I totally am.
Roxy glances at Owen and they both flush. She turns around to face me again.
"Well, I haven't really thought about it 'till now. But..." She inhales lightly. "Yeah. I guess I'm in love with him."
"You are?" Owen finally speaks up, his voice cracking slightly.
Roxy walks back to him smiling. They kiss.
I gaze at them, my heart trembling. Omigosh! Why am I crying?!
"You guys are so sweet." I succeed to utter before running out like a mad person, ignoring Roxy’s yelling for me to wait.
Because I am a mad person, honestly. I've gone crazy.
I guess... this is what really being in love does to you...
I finally understand Lee.
Heavens, how pathetic. How wrong is this?
And yet, it feels so strangely good.
I am so fucked up.
* * *
I lay on my bed reading 'Days of Apparition'. And one more detail. I'm kind of sobbing.
Isn't that shocking? Not at all? Yeah, I thought so, too.
Damn it, Faldo. I hate him. I just... I hate him for doing this to me! I hate this stupid book for being so touching. I hate that he's so sensitive. I hate that I can't read a word now without thinking of him doing the same. I hate it.
I look up to see Ophelia sneak in.
So, things have been a little awkward ever since I realized she likes Faldo. And since he told her that he only sees her as a dear friend. I tried to not be with Faldo when she's around. But seeing how, even though at the time I wasn't aware that I liked him myself, I was doing just that-it was hard. Ophelia, being so annoyingly nice, stayed her nice self the whole time.
Yeah, I hate her, too.
"Are you ok?"
"Well, you're pretty much drowning in your own tears there."
I whipe my face and snort, impying the 'duh'. "It's a sad book."
She casts a curious glance at the covers and smiles. "It is, indeed. Drake recomended it to me a while ago."
I sigh, a little unsettled by the fact that Faldo talks about his interests with her, when he has me for that. Heavens, does that mean I'm... jealous?
Oh, no. This is seriously rock bottom.
"Me too." I mutter finally.
She gazes at me for a moment until finally speaking up again. "Dora, can I ask you a question?"
I nod, albeit a little hesitant.
"Are you in love with him?"
Ok, what is this?! Is that all people are asking me these days? Honestly. All right, I get it that I was kind of obvious. But can't they give me a break? Heavens!
And what shall I do, anyway? Should I tell her the truth? She won't like it.
I must have had a very read-friendly expression since Ophelia nods her head and smiles. "Thought so."
I sigh, frustrated. "I'm sorry, Ophelia. I know you like him, too. But it took me by surprise. I was convinced that I like Louis. And then I kissed Faldo while I was still with Louis. I'm such a bitch, I know. And I hate myself. Because... it felt good. It felt fucking amazing. And I don't even regret it. Not really. I want to. Because I know what a horibble thing I did. But I just can't. I'm sorry."
I bury my face in my palms feeling just a tad ashamed. It was about time, too.
Suddenly, a warm hand settles on my back. I look up to see Ophelia smiling at me.
"I take it you didn't really want to tell me all of this."
"I can't hold it in anymore, either." I whisper. "I'm suffocating."
"You know I'm not the adequate person for this, though. Right?" She raises her eyebrows at me.
I nod, resigned.
She gets up to go to the bathroom and gives me another short look. "Oh, and for the record, I don't think you should regret it. Kissing him, I mean."
I shift, not really comfortable with the fact that Ophelia is bringing up our smooch. Or rather, my smooch. Since, you know, Faldo just... stood there during it.
She doesn't twitch though, not even for a second, her voice steady. "When it comes to love, caution should be forgotten."
And with a soft wink, Ophelia vanishes into our bathroom.
How are all these people so nice? Am I the only bitch around?
I lay back on my bad and cover my face with the book.
What is my life, seriously?
It's as if all I ever make are stupid decisions. No wonder people don't like me. I'm too hard to love. Faldo was right, all those years ago. It's not because of my dad. I've been hiding behind his broken image, not admiting that it's me who they hate. And Faldo... He'll never...
I'm just not right for... anyone. I understand Alice now. Maybe it's better to be alone. For other people's sake. For his sake... Not that he will ever see me that way...
Come on, sleep, why are still you not here?
I'm just so, so tired...
* * *
I decide that it's time to visit Professor Longbottom again. It's been a while. Since I suceeded in staying away from Marilyn, we didn't have an opportunity to meet again this year. Prior to this one, we'd usualy have at least five conversations by now. I guess you can call that progress. In a very twisted way.
As soon as I announce myself, he lets me in without hesitation.
I creep inside, the sound of the fire from his fireplace piercing through the warm air. When our glances finally clash, Professor Longbottom smiles at me.
"I was wondering if you'd visit me again at all this year. I should be happy about that. But... can you keep a secret?"
I nod, curious.
"I miss our conversations." He smiles and I do, too.
"How's Alice?" I ask in return. "I mean, I saw her yesterday, but we didn't have a chance to really talk ever since..."
Professor Neville flinches but covers it up quickly with a stern expression. "She's fine. Did you know about..."
"I knew." I sigh, biting my lip. "But she begged me to stay quiet about it. I believed she would eventually tell You, though. That's why I waited. Still, I'm sorry."
He points to the chair and I carefully take my seat.
"It's fine, Dora. It's quite unsettling just how much guilt you feel about... well, everything. You shouldn't do that."
I look up sharply. "But-"
"Trust me, get rid of it. You should do whatever you want. Whatever makes you happy."
"I do want to be happy." I whisper finally, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"I know." Professor Neville nods with warmth. "And, concerning that..."
He gets up with a wink and vanishes behind a door to the left. Ruffling noises are heard while I wait for him to appear again.
Finally, he does. With a bunch of ancient looking books.
"What is that?" I actually fear for my life (They are bloody enormous, ok?! I am a Ravenclaw, but that doesn't mean I can't be intimidated by a large pile of papers, from time to time.).
"It's some literature I got from our Headmistress. I had a quite glorius reading urge when I first got here. I wanted to know everything about anything." He giggles. "Needless to say, it didn't last very long."
He points to the thick dust covering the books and I chuckle.
"I heard that you're actually quite good at Transfiguration." He adds then with a proud grin. "Professor Aeldra is rather fond of you and your affairs."
"Well, who would've thought." I smile.
That woman has been really stern lately. And her 'You're good!' and 'Please, tell me you're joking.' frowns are just too similar to distinguish these days.
"Does doing Transfiguration make you happy?" Professor Neville wonders.
Closing my eyes for a moment, I try to think of the right answer.
As it turns out, it comes to me quite naturally and without any bigger effort. "Yes, I guess I am happy when I do Transfiguration, 'cause... I feel like I'm actually good at something and that I deserve respect because of it."
He pierces me with his dark and somewhat annoyingly wise look. "So... Do you think that's your calling?"
I frown, drifting away.
I always stray from thinking about the future. But the fact is, my future is slowly coming and I need to confront it. Or it will leave me behind.
"I-I don't like children." I blurt out all of a sudden.
Professor Neville bursts into laughter.
I smile, in spite of myself.
"At least not at this point." I add, knowing just how much of a bitch karma has been lately...
I really should learn to never say never.
"You don't want to be a professor then, I take it."
"That I'm sure of." I laugh a little, too.
Professor Longbottom gives me an entertainted look before speaking again.
"As I told you before, I'm positive there's something great waiting for you, Dora. That's why I want you to take these, nonetheless." He points to the books again. "Maybe you'll find some inspiration."
He shoves them into my arms.
Clearly, he doesn't considere the fact that they're super heavy. And my arms are a little fragile, thank you very much.
"Thanks..." I moan out.
"Now, now. Don't be like that. Trust me, Dora." He gazes at me with care again and I can't help but feel nothing but affection toward this man. "When you begin doing just what you love, when you begin living just the way you want to and with whom you want... Everything that is pressing you now... It'll be gone."
"Does that also mean that I... I should be with the person I love, too?" I mutter, blushing.
Professor Neville smiles at me in surprise. "Oh... Are you... you're in love?"
I nod hesitantly, feeling that my cheeks are burning from embarrassement.
"Wait, was that the real reason you came here in the first place?" He frowns slightly. "I'm sorry, Dora. I tend to overdo it with this advicing thing..."
"No. No! I mean, yes, but I needed this whole talk. So you didn't exaggerate at all." I assure him.
"You're avoiding the topic, Dora." He reminds me.
I sigh, defeated. "Yes, I'm in love. Sadly."
"Why would you say that?" He crosses his arms over his chest.
"Is this appropriate, Professor?" I wonder out loud. "I mean, you are my professor and maybe..."
"Dora." He pats my hand over the desk. "I'm more than your professor. You're my daughter's friend. She talks about you all the time, you know."
I smile at that, picturing Alice chatting with her father about me.
As time passes by, I feel like Alice and I are becoming more like long lost sisters, than anything else. Sure, I love Roxy and Charlie. But, Alice just has a special place in my heart.
"I will always be grateful to those who care about Alice. Especially now." He gives me a knowing look and I smile sligthly.
"And that's why you can trust me. At least, I hope."
I nod my head, breathing out.
"So?" He tilts his head to the side and gazes at me with interest.
"So... " I sigh and decide to tell the truth. "I'm in love but he only sees me as a friend."
"Are you sure of that? Did you ask him?"
Professor Longbottom raises an eyebrow at me.
"But! But I just know." I add in quickly before he can say anything.
He starts to laugh again and I feel sick. Why am I doing this? It hurts even talking about it.
"You need to tell him how you feel, Dora." Professor Neville assures me.
"It's not just that, either." I shake my head. "I don't think I deserve him."
"No wait! He... He's perfect and I'm-"
"Dora, just... stop." Professor Neville sighs, visibly frustrated. "What did I tell you? You need to let this go. If you keep insisting that you're not good enough, then at some point you'll convince yourself of it in such a measure that you'll never be happy. Not even if you do all the things that are supposed to make you happy. They'll suddenly seem ridiculous and laughable and wrong. You need to accept yourself fully. Trust me, I should know."
"So..." I utter, feeling shattered. "So I should just embrace my inner freak?"
He nods, smiling. "Absolutely."
"I've been trying to do that..." I whisper.
"Then try harder." He sighs, looking at me. "I see so much of myself in your behaviour, Dora."
"Well, why is that so wrong? Clearly, You are a great person. And a quite happy one, too. If I'm not mistaken."
"I am." He nods. "But I wasn't always."
He gazes at me for a silent moment. "I think that maybe... You just need a push."
"A push?" I blink, confused. "What exactly is that?"
"Well, it's different to different people, I guess. For instance, I needed to do something heroic so that I could start seeing myself that way and finally embrace everything else, too. With you... I don't know. Maybe you need to see that this boy loves you, so that you can understand that you truly are worth it."
"But what if he doesn't..."
"Then, you'll move on and find something else. Dora, please, just don't give up. That's all I'm asking. You know how much I want to see you truly happy."
I nod, sighing deeply. I let the pleasant silence overtake the room for a few moments, until I speak again. "Thank you for everything."
"Any time." He smiles at me in a warm and fatherly way. "I hope that you'll come visit me again. This time, to tell me some good news."
"I hope, too."
I get up slowly, casting a quick Wingardium Leviosa to help myself with all the gigantic books.
And when I finally get outside, I realize that I'm just being whiny again. I'm trying to find reasons to not act on my feeling. Trying to chalk it up to other problems. Yes, it's all connected in a way. But the point is, I'm hiding. And if I want to be happy, which I do, like everybody else, I need to step out and do something.
It's just scary and I don't think I can right now.
Professor Neville is right. I need a push. Something. Anything from Faldo. So that I can know what he's feeling.
And who knows... maybe, somewhere deep... deep down...
... he's feeling the same...
* * *
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I turn around, putting my pillow over my head. The sound doesn't stop, though.
I get up, furious when I realize that, yes, again, it's an owl. Only this time, it's a snowy white one.
I mutter under my breath angry and let her in. The owl looks at me with wonder. What? She's totally staring at me! I love animals but not all of them are cute. Exhibit A.
I take the small blue letter that's safely attached to her leg, not breaking eye contact.
Ok, I'm so fucked up, I'm even scared of an owl! What is this?!
Stupid Faldo and his stupid ability to mess with my head, without even knowing it!
I take a deep breath in and turn it over slowly and that's when my breath cuts off suddenly.
It's Faldo's handwriting. I'd know that crazy 'o' anywhere.
I nervously open it, my hands shaking. The paper is smooth and blue and his light letters run over it like water. It's not adressed to me with a note in a 'Dear Dora' fashion or anything similar. Rather, it immediately starts with his soulful words.
Sometimes, a beauty is hidden, even though it's in your reach. For reasons unknown, you cannot see. You walk, breath, live beside it year after year, not knowing.
And then, in one moment, the dark becomes light, and you're not blind anymore. You know. You finally know.
What, you may ask? What is that knowledge?
It's everything. It's her laugh. It's her sorrow. It's her fear. It's her lonelyness. It's her confusion. It's her strength. It's her everything. It's her alone.
And you're scared of this knowledge, because it's bigger than you. It's bigger than anything you ever thought you knew. And you run and you hide and try to forget. Because it's different. And you can't understand. You can't breath, because it's hurting you. It's hard being away. And it's hard not, too.
Alas, I'm just a frightened boy, lost, without a real direction in my life. I though I wanted to be alone. I though it was for the best. But, like many things I don't know, this is a lie. I want, nay, I need you by my side.
And I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn’t see. I'm sorry I wasn't aware. I'm sorry I made a mistake. But I'm only human and humans do that.
I'll wait for you, in that place only we know of. I'll wait for you to forgive me.
If you don't come, I'll understand. But... I just want you to know that... I finally know, too.
I drop the paper, my heart slowing down. And Professor Neville's words come back, haunting me.
I just know, this is it.
And then, suddenly, my mind is speeding. Words that want out. Words that need to be spoken want to break free. But he's not here. He's...
In that place only we know of...
Realization hits me instantly and I run outside, leaving my asleep room mates behind.
All the while as I'm racing through the halls I'm still not able to see clearly. Not knowing what to think exactly. I just know I need to do this.
And that's exactly when I bump into Louis Weasley.
Or rather, he bumps into me.
Upon spotting me on the floor, his face lights up.
"Dora, thank Merlin! What a great coincidence!"
He helps me up and I stumble a little.
"Oh, yes, just... great." I say through greeted teeth.
But Louis doesn't notice my tone, thankfully.
"I need your help." He squeezes my hand and takes a shaky breath. "It's James."
So by this point you should've guessed, Louis and I are on friendly terms now. Yes, we spoke again. It wasn't akward. I finally realized what made me dislike him as a boyfriend. It wasn't the fact that he was annoying. It was just the fact that I was already in love with Faldo. And he was just an obstacle in my mind. Even though it was all in my subconscious back then. So, when I finally got out of that failed relationship, I saw the potentional Louis trully has. And you know what? I think I'd like to have him around. Even though he is a bit too touchy for my likings.
"Please, Dora." Louis looks desperate. "He won't listen to me. I thought, since, you know, he's doing everything to redeem your relationship, he will to you."
I gaze back in the direction of the Owlery.
Why do shits like these happen to me in the most inappropriate of times? Seriously, karma. Give me a break, will you?
I stand there, torn between the desire to find Faldo and the fact that James is apparently having a nervous break down. I should be thinking of myself first. But... But James is my cousin and...
And I'm scared.
Yes, all right, I'm still scared of facing Faldo. As long as I dream about it, everything is mellow. But now that the reality is waiting for me up there in the Owlery... Honestly? It's terrifying. So, this is the easier option, in the end.
Guh, I'm being a bitch again. Or rather, a coward.
I nod my head, surrending to my weak side. "All right. Let's go."
* * *
I find James in the kitchens, stuffing himself with food, all the house elfs rushing to please him. He seems rather tired and mopish. Just as I expected.
"Hey." I wave sligthly.
"Dora?" He drops his potato. "What are you doing here?"
"Louis told me..." I shrug.
On the way to the kitchen, I talked to Louis and he confessed that James is having a not so good post Albus-is-moving reaction. And since James really has gone out to help me this year, I thought I should return the favor. (Plus, you know, I’m a major coward and that’s the real reason I’m here. But shhh.)
"Oh... Ok." James answers meekly.
I sigh. "James, it's really hard seeing you like this."
"Why?" He stuffs another potato down his throat.
"Well, what do you think?"
He gazes at me, clearly confused.
"I care about you, James." My voice breaks a little.
James immediately jumps from his seat, hugging me. I lean into him and sigh.
"You seriously just made my whole day, Dora."
"James, please, snap out of it." I rub his back tenderly.
"I can't." He looks me in the eyes suddenly and there is so much pain in there that it makes me flinch. "He's my brother. It may not look as if I like him that much, but I really do. He's... He's a great brother and..."
"I know." I squeeze his hand, trying to suit him. "But you'll still have Louis."
"Whom you ditched, as I hear." He suceeds to smile a little. "I'm just wondering... who's the guy?"
I blush. "Well..."
"Someone I know? Well, he's obviously from Hogwarts so I should know him. Who is he?"
"James, we were talking about you and Al." I warn him, hoping he'd stay away from the topic.
Thankfully, James nods, looking away for a moment.
"You probably think I'm stupid for reacting like this." He suddenly snorts. "I mean, it's not like he's dying. Just moving away..."
"I don't think you're stupid. At all." I whisper. "If anything, this side of you... it just makes me love you more."
James looks up at me with a faint smile and a trace of surprise in his warm eyes.
I then ralize that I never did say that to him. That I love him. I myself didn't exactly know I feel that way about him. Care, sure. But real, deep love? Not until now.
I hold his hand in silence before he manages to utter. "Can we... Can you just hug me for now?"
I smile and lean into him again. James buries his face into my hair and sighs deeply. His breathing is short and broken and I want to tell him that it's fine. That everything is going to be ok.
But I remember then just how much I'll miss Al, too.
And the only thing I can do is continue embracing him with all my warmth and heart.
* * *
When I leave the kitchen, I'm so exhausted, I almost fall flat on the floor. But that doesn't erase my memory of a certain letter I got this morning.
I stand there in the hallway, in the middle between the Owlery and our dorm, and I wonder... What should I do? Is Faldo still there? Is he waiting for me? And the most important thing... Does this mean that he...
I choke up, not able to even think about that possibility.
But then... I see his smile and I feel the kiss and I want to find him. Yes! I want to find out. I need to know. Is this real?
I suddenly take a deep breath and turn to the right.
But when I finally reach the Owlery, my hands start shaking and I can't breath.
Why is this so hard?
Come on, Dora. You can do this! It's Faldo. Remember? You can handle him. Well, you were able to. But you can do it again! Sure you're in love with him and sure that scares the crap out of you. But it's still Faldo.
I force a smile, still not completely sure about all of this, and finally walk inside.
But when I enter my hide away palace, I stop amain. 'Cause...
He's not there.
The air is cold and all the owls are still and asleep. The day outside is already running away, making place for the chilly night.
And it's so hollow.
I then notice a pile of papers scattered on the floor. I sit down, disappointed and pick one of them up, curiousity eating me alive.
My mood rises as I realize it's Faldo's handwriting again. I gather a few more of them in my hands and sit back, leaning against the cold wall. I may just as well see what this is about.
I start with a very untidy one in which Faldo's handwriting clearly indicates he's a tad younger.
I'm scared. I'm alone and scared. I wonder what will become of me. I don't know how I could have been so blind all these years. But I know it's for the best. I can finally move on and find myself. I can be who ever I want to be.
It scares me. But someday, it'll trill me. All the posibilities... A whole new life in front of me. A whole new Drake yearning to be found.
I can't wait for that day.
I let out a small gasp as I fathom that these are pages from his diary.
The fact that he wrote that letter for me trilled me. But this... This is letting me into his intimacy. Into him.
I wanted this so bad ever since he told me about his parents. But now that I have an opportunity to dive in... I can't remember if I know how to swim. Or rather, if I really want to.
Taking a deep breath, I decide to risk it anyway. Because... It's Faldo. It's stronger than me.
I slowly reach out for another one.
I think I want to write. The moment I found out about mother and father, I knew I wanted to change something. So... Why not? I surely don't want to be a Quidditch player. I mean, yes, I enjoy playing it. But it's not my calling. And I don't want to be a professor, either.
I think I want to write. So, starting tomorrow, I'm exploring the library. I hope I’ll find true inspiration someday. I really hope so...
"This is the most important one."
I initially freeze at the familiar voice.
Then, I slowly turn arond to see Faldo standing near the door.
His hair is falling in his eyes slightly but just enough for him to look under his locks almost in a shy fashion. And he has that I-can-see-into-your-soul-look, too. I struggle to breath all over again.
Finally, I suceed to stand up and he hands me the paper without a word. I take it, all the while glancing at him. He nods his head, sheepish.
I unfold it carefully and dive in again, secretly casting nervous glances at Faldo.
Oh Melin, how could I be so blind? She was there. Always. And she is amazing. And funny. And cute. And beautiful. And amazing.
I already said that, didn't I?
It's funny how I can't find enough words to describe her. I though it's because there aren't any. And that scared me. Because I thought I was so good at this. I thought I was a natural at finding the most brilliant of words. But I realize now that it shouldn't scare me. It should inspire me. Because... I want to find better words. I need to find them. And that is making me an even better writer. And it's all because of her.
Merlin, it's so simple that it's funny. And yet, it was so hard getting to it. I guess the simple things are indeed the hardest to comprehend.
My breath hitches as I try to proceed his words.
Is this really happening? Is he...
And I turn around slowly to stare at Faldo.
This is it.
A/N: So, I know I've been a little lazy with the update. Again! But life got in the way. And I mean that in the best way possible. Gah, I'm so in love, it's ridiculous! Sorry, I just needed to get that out. :D
Now about the story... Urgh, another cliffy? Sorry about that. I try to avoid these, but there you go. Can't do that every time. I hope you still like this one, though. Tell me what you think. :)
Also, sorry about the mistakes. I'll go back and correct them, if they are any (Probably are, lol.). I just wanted to update as fast as I could. :D
Chapter 14: The Smiling Photography
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The Smiling Photography
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing. Except crazy ol' Dora and her even more crazy friend Charlie (Plus Owen, Dorian, Sam and other characters you don't recognize from HP.).
Baby, baby blue eyes
Stay with me, by my side
'Til the morning, through the night...
"Baby Blue Eyes", A Rocket To The Moon
There is a moment...
I know it sounds ridiculous and fairytale-ish (I don't care if it's not a word! ... It totally should be one, though, shouldn't it?) and Lee's influence is finally showing, but...
I don't know how to describe it. It's as if you feel cold and hot at the same time. And it should be strange. But, instead, you feel like... It all fits. It's... Gah, kill me now, but the only word I can think of is destiny.
Destiny is a heavy word. I try to avoid using it, throughout. But now, when he's here, looking at me as if I'm the last missing puzzle to complete... everything... It's suitable. It's perfect.
It somehow all makes sense.
I gaze at him, frightened out of my mind. Faldo looks scared, too. His deep blue eyes are glancing over ever so lightly. Like he can't manage to do so for any longer. Like it hurts. Well, I know how that feels.
After a moment of sheer emptiness, he finally walks over to me, shaking as he takes my hand. I drop the paper. It falls down slowly, painfully, just as my mind starts to race.
"You scare the shit out of me, Blue." He whispers.
Well, that was kind of...
"That's so romantic." I huff sarcastically, my heart beating.
Was I expecting a fabulous declaration of love?
Ok, maybe just a little. Shut up! No, ok, I would have settled for something more common. More... Faldo.
But this? What the fuck is this?!
And I suddenly start to panic. Why is he scared? It's totally my thing to be a coward! How are we going to do this if we're both frightened?
The most stupid words start to pour out of my mind and through my mouth. "Seriously? Did you read that in Witch Weekly's 'How To Charm Young Witches' article? 'Cause, believe me, that shit is as accurate as the rather foolish assumption that flobberworms are cute."
He stares at me in confusion.
"Charlie's words. Not mine." I clarify.
I don my defensive suit. My armor. It's a reflex. Just like him putting that indifferent facade all the time was.
He shakes his head, I'd say becoming impatient. "Shut up, Blue. I'm trying to say something here."
And then when I can actually see him trying, struggling to be brave... it scares me even more. This is our last chance to back out. Our last chance to forget everything and be friends for the rest of our lives. We can do that, right?
"I don't think you're doing a good job, though." I snap back.
What the fuck? Faldo rightfully glares at me.
"Just saying." I shrug, hiding my poor nerves.
"Urgh." He lets out a loud, frustrated scream. "You're so... you're so-"
"What?!" I scream back.
Ignoring my burst out, Faldo quickly takes a few steps toward me, clearly going in for a kiss. I stay stiff for a second, lost on any action to be taken upon. Then I step back, pushing him away roughly before our lips even brush.
"You think you can just walk in and kiss me when ever you want?!" I yell over my pounding heart. "I have a say in this, too, you know!"
"Ok, ok." He sighs, his look aghast and broken. "Then tell me, what do you want?! 'Cause, if I remember correctly... You kissed me."
His voice drops and I can see a trace of desperate hope in his eyes. He wants this. He wants me. But that knowledge doesn't make it any easier.
Have you ever been in love with someone so close to you? It's a constant battle. Should we come together and risk breaking up and becoming strangers to each other after everything? Or should we suppress it all and move on, safe in our denial?
It's no Hamlet, sure, but it's a hard decision nonetheless.
"That was... A reflex." I lie, choosing the second option.
It's safer. It's what we know.
"A reflex to what, exactly?" Faldo crosses his arms, curious.
"Well, you're hot." I say bluntly.
He raises his eyebrow.
"Hormones, man. Fucking hormones." I sigh.
Faldo then starts to laugh. And it's not a small, sweet laugh. I actually fear he'll suffocate.
I glare at him much like he did at me a few moments back. "What's so funny, Faldo?!"
"Oh, Blue." He shakes his head and chuckles. "You're hopeless."
"I beg to differ." Now I cross my arms.
"You're as scared as I am and just can't admit it!"
I blink at him, as his words cut deep into my chest and hit too close to home. It's scary how well he knows me. Or maybe it's because he understands.
"I'm not scared!" I lie again bluntly.
"Then why are you making this shit up?!"
"Faldo! You said shit too many times. You don't swear." I remind him, as if he isn't aware of that himself.
"Fuck! You drive me crazy." He mutters, ignoring my words completely.
"So cheesy." I roll my eyes, trying to seem annoyed.
"Blue, I'm warning you..."
"Of what?! Your boyish charm?" I shriek as I realize that my heart won't settle any time soon. "Ok, I think you're cute, but that doesn't mean I want to kiss you all the time!"
"All the time?" He suddenly smirks.
"I said, I don't want to kiss you! Heavens, listen, will you?!"
"There you go again!"
"I hate this, honestly!" Faldo almost yells.
I suddenly shudder as I notice just how much I'm tormenting him. "What?"
"I hate it that you make me so angry and yet, I adore it at the same time." He whispers in a sweet voice.
My heart flutters, but I quickly mask it with a sinister look. "You're a masochist, Faldo. Go talk to someone about that."
"Look who's speaking."
"I don't like you... That much."
"Why did you kiss me?" He goes to stare at me again and my whole body trembles as his words echo through the Owlery.
I tried so hard to hide and run. I put a crazy amount of my time and effort into it (Yes, three days is indeed a lot!) But, somehow, he always finds me.
How? It just isn't fair.
"Moment of insanity, I suppose." I mutter.
"This is ridiculous! Either you're coming over here or I'm coming there, Blue!" He indicates to the vast space that suddenly formed between us (Thanks to my constant elusion.).
"You can't treat me like this! You're so arrogant! It makes me sick!"
"You know it's not like that, Blue!" He gazes up at me with the most sincere, deep care. "You're just making things up so you don't have to take the risk."
I gaze at him, my heart beating in madness. It's as if he can read my mind. How does he do that? No, of course, I know he can't read my mind. I suppose we just really are that similar.
"I know, ok." He whispers broken. "I know it's terrifying. But if you could just try... I'm willing to... "
"You don't even like me Faldo." I answer in a hushed voice.
He glances at me in a pained way. As if he can't believe I would actually think something along those lines. As if he can't believe I don't see that he does like me.
Does he, though?
Heavens, my head is reeling!
"You're so stubborn, Blue. Fuck!"
Ok... there goes my answer, I guess.
"Why are you doing this?! Is it really that scary?!"
And, finally-I explode. Every fear, every hidden thought about him, about us, everything, pouring out in a desperate yelp.
"Of course it is, you jerk!" I scream and his eyes become a few shades darker as he gazes at me.
I breath in, shaking. "You're this... this great person... and I'm horrible! I kissed you while I was still with Louis! I'm whiny, I'm a coward, I'm messy and have no self-confidence. I'm too much to handle! I don't want to make your life even more difficult than it is already. Don't you get it?"
My eyes are burning, but I still manage to stay composed. How? I seriously don't have a fucking clue.
"I... I care about you too much to hurt you. And I will hurt you, eventually. And... then... you'll... you'll leave me."
I shut up abruptly, not quite believing I just said all of that.
My chest is hurting and I just want to run away. Maybe it would stop then. The rigid pain.
Faldo stares at me in shock. He then slowly steps away and my heart drops. Of course he was going to run away from me. I knew that. But seeing it now... it just hurts like hell.
Faldo picks up his head and our eyes lock.
"You're so stupid, Blue."
... Ok... That was kind of harsh. Even for brutally-honest-Faldo.
Suddenly, he comes back, closing the space between us slowly. He squeezes my arm and I flinch. Not because I'm scared of his touch, but because I'm scared of just how much I enjoy it.
"You think I don't know exactly who you are? I've spent four years getting to know you. And I'm still here. 'Cause, when..." He gasps and looses his voice for a second. "When you finally realize... that you want to be with someone... Nothing else matters. Not the circumstances, not their flaws, not the fear... Because the need to be together is... is so intense... You feel like you'll suffocate if you're not."
I stare at his eyes, feeling the tears wanting to break through.
"The question here is... " He gazes at me with a soft interest. "Do you want me? Do you need me? 'Cause... I need you."
And I officially start crying.
Faldo goes to embrace me tightly. His warm arms are calming but I'm still shaking. Why am I shaking? And my knees are going week. And I actually think I'm about to faint. Heavens, what is this?!
I find his cheeks and put my hands on them. Faldo looks into my eyes and I look back.
I choke out. "How can this be my life? It was always so... shitty."
He laughs. "I know exactly what you mean."
I look down, a huge blush creeping onto my face. "I do, you know."
"What?" Faldo frowns lightly.
"Need you." I whisper, embarrassed.
He then smiles and kisses the top of my head, hugging me again.
I look up at him in anticipation.
"What?" He seems confused again.
For someone so bright, he sure can be clueless. But look who's talking. Not that I'd say I'm smart. Well, actually, I would. I mean, I am in Ravenclaw, after all. Just ignore all my blond moments and you'll get it, too... Eventually... I think.
"Oh, for Heaven's sake." I stand on my toes and grab his cheeks, pulling his face closer.
And finally, I put my lips onto his. And you know what's amazing?
This time... he kisses me back. And oh, how he kisses me.
Faldo pulls a hand through my loose locks sending shivers down my back. Then, he brings me even closer and I almost want to shout-hello, personal space, here. Until he smiles against my lips in that soft way that makes me dizzy. Because, it's Faldo. And I want to kiss him. I don't crave my personal space when I'm with him.
The last faint brush of our lips is so warm and yet so deep, it leaves me breathless for a moment. I step away a little, my chest moving up and down.
Heavens, I feel like this is an out of body experience. Did I die? Am I actually dead? It would make sense.
I want to cry and laugh, all at the same time. Is that normal? How can this aching and this pleasant pain be normal, though? It's scary how amazing it feels. It's so fucking terrifying.
"That was fucking terrifying." I voice out my thought in sharp breaths.
Faldo glances at me, his breathing also cut short.
"Wanna do it again?" He offers with a raised eyebrow.
In all the excitement, we tilt our heads to the same side and collide in pain. I burst into a loud laughter. Faldo follows.
"Heavens, we are like a pair of kiss virgins." I giggle.
"We can read that Witch Weekly's 'Kissing for dummies' article together now." He winks.
I gasp. "You knew I was reading that?!"
"Blue, please." He snorts. "As if you would be reading a Potions book by your own will on a Saturday afternoon. Besides, I have a freakishly good sight."
I pull my hand through his hair and ruffle it up. "You're such a creep."
"But a kiss worthy one, I hope?"
I roll my eyes and hit him on his arm. Faldo instead pulls me into his embrace and we sit on the floor together, watching the evening graciously take over the castle.
And he kisses me.
* * *
"It's funny, you know." I utter, my head resting on his chest.
The faint winter moon is caressing our faces and I'm feeling pleasantly warm.
"What?" He answers back, playing with my fingers.
"We could have been together this whole time."
"I don't think so."
"No?" I turn around to gaze into his bright eyes.
He shakes his head. "If it happened sooner, I don't think it'd work. We still weren't ready for each other."
"So you believe in destiny, too?" I mock.
"Maybe a little. But don't tell anyone." He winks.
I giggle and sigh, resting my head on his shoulder again.
I think I could get used to this. I really, really do.
We stay still for a few silent moments, until an intriguing thought occurs to me.
"Hm." He hums into my hair.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." He shifts so that our eyes are locking each other softly.
"What was it?" I whisper, blushing. "What made you realize that you like me?"
Faldo turns to me and smiles with a mesmerizing warmth. "It's a quite silly story."
"I don't mind." I blush even more.
"You just want to hear a pretty story that will boost your ego." He chuckles.
"Is that so wrong?" I play along.
"All right, then." He giggles and then clears his throat loudly as to emphasize the beginning.
"Remember that day when Al brought his granddad's camera to the Soulmate meeting?“
"How can I not? He was shoving it in our faces non-stop." I recall bitterly.
"Yeah, well, when we got back to the dorm that day, Al asked me to develop the photos. Since he doesn't know how."
"Of course." I roll my eyes.
Typical Al. Plays with toys that he can't even figure out so he drops them to someone else to worry about.
Heavens, what will we do without that lazy bug?
"I have had a particularly boring day and thought-well, why not." Faldo continues, shrugging. "So I went back to the RoR and set everything up perfectly. It was fun. The photos were hilarious, too. And I was having a blast. Then... I found a photo of you."
I perk up as I notice his shy smile.
"You and I... we were usually sneering at each other. And that was the expression I was used to seeing on you. But on that one photograph... You looked... You were smiling and you had this look on your face... The kind of expression that says-you're such an idiot, but I still love you. I suspect it was directed at either Al or Scorp. It was a genuine look, full of affection. And I found myself staring at that smile for the longest time. I suddenly wanted that you look at me that way."
I smile at him and Faldo gently brushes a bouncy lock away from my face.
"At first, as I interpreted the look as a friendly one, I thought I longed to finally become your friend and stop being in this crazy 'hate' relationship with you." He dons the air quotes and I giggle.
Who were we kidding? It was never really hate.
"I took the photograph and put it in an old poetry notebook of mine. A couple of days ago, though, I found it to look for some good lines and... I stumbled upon the photo again. And, as I stared at your friendly smile again, I realized... I already had it. You were my friend. Finally. And, yes, it was a nice look. But, suddenly, I just... I knew... It wasn't enough anymore. I wanted more."
I smile as I notice that Faldo is blushing himself. I'm not surprised to realize that it makes him even more adorable.
"I wanted you look at me the way you looked at Louis that one time in the Great Hall. I wanted to have that. I wanted you to see me. And I... I just... I needed time to process it. When you kissed me, though... I realized I was ready for a long time now. I was ready for you."
I glance up at him shyly. "That's not a silly story, at all. It's... kind of amazingly beautiful."
"So you think I have a chance as a storyteller, then?" He smirks at me.
"I think you can be whatever you want to be." I kiss him lightly on the lips.
He smiles and takes my hand and I sink into his embrace again, feeling completely lost and safe at the same time.
And no matter what I said earlier, I hope I never get used to this.
* * *
I sneak into my dorm around midnight, trying to be as quiet as I can possibly manage. Unfortunately, instead using my brain and casting a Muffliato, I rely on my spy abilities. Which are poor. And that's being generous about it.
I stumble into someone's night stand, probably Merilyn's and a loud noise breaks the silence. I stay stiff for a moment, waiting for something disastrous to happen. As luck would have it, Marilyn's indeed the one to wake up.
"What the... Dursley, what do you think you're doing?! I need my sleep!"
I actually manage to spit out the last words I wanted to ever say into her face. "Sorry."
"Control your bladder, for Merlin's sake!" She rolls over and covers her head with her sheets.
I breath out and go to my bed. But someone else manages to hear me along the way.
"Dora?" Lee blinks at me.
"Where have you been? It's really late. Or should I say..." She looks at the muggle watch Al got her for her last birthday, that was resting peacefully on her night stand. "It's early."
This time around, I remember to cast the damn Muffliato.
"Be quiet, Lee. Marilyn has ears on her arse, too." I say, even though she can't really hear us anymore.
"She does? When did those grow out?"
I roll my eyes. "I was joking!"
"Oh. But wouldn't it be cool if..."
"No, Lee. It wouldn't." I shake my head.
She pouts. Heavens!
"So, where have you been, then?"
"Go back to sleep, Lee." I order her.
"Oh, you're avoiding the answer... This can only mean something juicy... Wait, don't tell me you're back with Louis?!" The terror in her eyes shows clearly.
"I remember a time when you were very pro-Louis."
"I was blinded by my desire to plan a wedding." She admits shamefully. "I know, it should have never happened. I deeply regret it."
"It's not Louis." I slip.
"So there is someone?" Charlie's eyes glitter. "Who is he? Tell me!"
"Shut up, Lee!"
"Come on! I told you about kissing Dorian. Return the favor."
"I really wish you didn't tell me that, though." I shudder.
"Why? Even Rose agrees we're a great couple!"
"Lee, you kissed once. You were not a couple." I sigh.
"I beg to differ. It was a beautiful relationship."
Lee jumps into my bed and smiles at me in a freakish way. "Tell me, Dora."
"Fine." I finally give up. "But if you say anything to anyone..."
"I won't! Promise!" She smiles, acting like a perfect angel.
Why don't I have her abilities? They'd certainly come in handy.
I take a deep breath, calming my nerves. "It's... Faldo."
Lee stares at me blankly.
Then, she bursts into a loud laughter. "Oh, Dora, come on! Come up with a better lie, at least."
I blink. Charlie gazes back at me and, finally, realization hits her. Hard.
"Oh my Merlin!" She shouts and falls on the floor.
I look down at her from the bed. "You ok?"
She suddenly stands up, almost hitting me in the head.
"Oh my Merlin! I always insisted you two would tolerate each other. But not like this!"
"Merlin, this is like if Dumbledore and Grindelwald would get together after everything-"
"Lee!" I shriek.
She looks at me, confused.
"I never hated Faldo, ok?"
I shake my head.
"It was just sexual tension, all along, wasn't it? How didn't I see that?" She wonders out loud.
I roll my eyes.
"Oh, wait until Roxy hears about this!" She exclaims happily.
Roxy and Owen.
Oh, Heavens. I forgot about them. And Lee. I can't tell her. Roxy would kill me. She'd start planning their wedding again. Which brings me to... Oh, why did I tell her about Faldo, again?
"I'll tell her. And, Lee..."
"No Dursley-Faldo wedding planning, ok?"
"No buts. I'm serious!"
She crosses her arms. "You're no fun. I'll have to give my made of honor spot to Roxy, instead."
When she finds out that Roxy and Owen are together behind her back, she will forget this thought, I'm sure. Not that I want to be the made. Lee would be a bridezilla! I wouldn't be able to handle it. I don't think anyone will be.
"Whatever you want, Charlie."
I lie in my bed and Lee finally does the same.
I look up and smile, Faldo's words come back to me in a haze.
I stand in front of my dorm and Faldo puts his hand on my cheek gently, brushing my hair slightly. I close my eyes and smile.
"You're beautiful. I'm sorry I never told you that before."
I blush furiously as I open my eyes. His deep blue ones are piercing me.
"It's ok. I get that you're kind of slow." I mock him.
He laughs. "Promise me you'll never stop teasing me."
"I promise." I kiss him lightly on the lips.
I eye him curiously. "You know what I always wondered?"
"How you came up with the idea to start calling me Blue? I know it's because I mope constantly but..."
I blink, surprised. "No?"
He shakes his head.
"I'll tell you one day." He smirks. "I'm saving that story for the future."
It's funny how, now, it doesn't scare me at all.
I stick my tongue out at him. "You're such a tease."
He laughs again and kisses my forehead gently. I hold his hand tightly, fearing to let go. Fearing that all this... everything... is just a dream.
But the perfect thing is, it's not.
I smile into my pillow, slowly drifting to sleep.
I never felt more at peace.
Roxy waves at me as she looks around the Great Hall. Her wavy hair has reached her shoulders covered in her Quidditch gear. She looks quite pretty. And it seems a few males share my thought, as they gaze at my friend in a not so platonic way.
"Ree?" She frowns.
"You know-Dee, Lee and, why not, Ree." I smile.
Roxy shows that she clearly does not dig the idea, so I drop it. But not without disappointment.
"What is up with you? You seem curiously cheerful."
"I can be cheerful." I protest.
Roxy frowns at me again. I look away nervously.
"Anyway... Where is Charlie?" She decides to ignore me for now, it appears.
"Meeting her destiny." I use Lee's voice to mimic her.
It is not successful. Such a surprise.
"Trelawney." I add and Roxy nods with understanding.
"Good. I need to ask you something."
"You want me to keep your secret about Owen?" I whisper.
She looks at me, amazed. "How did you know?"
"I just do. I mean, every time I say I have a boyfriend, Lee stares at me with wedding eyes and I feel your pain."
"Wait, every time?" Roxy eyes me with interest.
"You just said... Dora, for saint's snitch, cut the crap and just tell me."
That's about when Faldo, Scorpius, Rose and Al walk to us. And Faldo, casually, presses his lips to mine. In front of everyone. More importantly, in front of Roxy. Who's mouth is so wide open, I think she could fit a Quaffle in it.
Ok, that was weird.
I cast a nervous look, first at Faldo, then at Roxy. It hits me that it's just Roxy who looks surprised.
"Oh, yeah, I told the guys. I hope you don't mind."
Sweet Heavens. He just saved me from the pain of telling everyone. And maybe in another similar situation, I would be pissed. But right now, I love him.
... Wait what?
Shut up, brain!
"I don't mind." I smile sweetly at him and he does the same.
"Oh-my-Wood." Roxy says every word with a giant dose of shock.
It's a little bit funny. Ok, it's hilarious. That's what she gets for not telling me about Owen. Hah, such brilliant payback!
"Come on, Roxy." Al rolls his eyes. "Is it really that surprising? I mean, you saw the tension with your own eyes, didn't you? I don't understand why you're so shocked."
He chews a chips with an amazing amount of nonchalance.
"Oh my Wood." Roxy repeats, now slightly angry.
"Yeah, I mean, it was obvious." Scopius agrees.
"Oh, shut up. As if you see anything beyond Rose, anyway." Faldo jabs him with delight.
Scorp doesn't seem happy. Faldo's right, though. As always. Which, of course, has been frustrating in the past. But now, it just amuses me highly.
Rose chuckles and kisses Scorpius. He sighs and decides that maybe, just maybe, his friend does have some point.
Right then, Lee decides to join us, too.
"Hey guys, what's brewing?" She takes her place next to Al.
"Apparently, Faldo and Dora are together now." Roxy shares bitterly.
"I know that." Lee casually waves it off. " Something else?"
Roxy looks at me angry. "You told everyone except me?"
"Come on, Roxy, having secrets is so last year." Charlie rolls her eyes.
"Fine then!" She nods, her hands on her hips. "Owen and I are in love."
Lee turns to her with a freakish smile. Roxy gulps. She looks at me as to say-see what you made me do. I shrug, suppressing a laugh.
I sit next to Faldo and he reaches for my hand. I look up at him. It's like he's telling me-everything's fine. We can do this. I nod and rest my head on his shoulder. I smile to myself as I listen to Charlie and her deep creed of her future career as a dragon breeder.
Life is kind of strangely perfect at the moment.
At least until Al invites us to attend his first of many going away parties. That jerk.
Oh, how I'll miss him.
* * *
All in all, it doesn't even surprise me anymore that, again, I find myself at a-party.
You know my legendary love for these social events? Well, now combine that with a melancholic afternoon and you'll get a wreck. Aka, me.
But, somehow, I still manage to laugh. I guess it has a lot to do with the person beside me.
"Spot Roxy and Lee back there." I show my friends to Faldo. "How much do you wanna bet that in the next two minutes one of them is going to yell at the other?"
"Oh, poor naive Blue." Faldo shakes his head.
"Why?" I frown.
"You're too optimistic for giving them two whole minutes."
Just as he says that, Roxy screams at Charlie that she can shove her ridiculous plans-maybe it's better I don't finish that sentence.
Faldo shrugs in a smug way.
"You really are good."
"I remember a time when that annoyed the hell out of you."
"Now you're being the naive one, mister."
"Yes?" He smiles.
"Who says it doesn't annoy me anymore?"
Faldo fakes an insulted expression and puts his palm over his chest. "I'm deeply offended, Blue."
"Shut up." I push him lightly.
Louis suddenly appears next to us, carrying a cup of some dark liquid. He instantly freezes and I realize that he didn't quite see us when he chose this path to wherever he's headed. It also dawns on me that this situation could possibly get a little awkward.
"Hey." Faldo breaks the silence.
"Hi, guys. Having fun?" Louis smiles at us, looking a bit torn.
Maybe it's because I'm practically sitting in Faldo's lap with my arms tightly around his neck. I suddenly become very self conscious and drop them next to my body.
"Yup!" I squeal too cheerfully.
Roxy was right. I just can't do cheerful.
Faldo looks at me obviously trying to suppress a laugh.
"Oh, ok then."
"I'm sorry, this is ridiculous." Faldo stands and picks me up. "Blue, I know you want to be friends with Louis. So, if the only reason for your squeaky voice is me, please just, stop."
"My voice is not squeaky." I say in a perfectly squeaky voice and then curse. "Damn it."
"So you're fine with us still hanging out?" Louis asks unsure.
Faldo nods with a bright smile.
"Thanks. 'Cause, Dora is a really cool girl."
Faldo looks me in the eyes so profoundly it's impossible not to smile at that.
I guess I should give credit to Faldo for being mature enough to let me live my life the way I want it.
Heavens, how is it I never realized before just how right he is for me?
"Anyway, I wanted to thank you, Dora." Louis jumps in, not aware that he ruined a perfectly sweet moment here.
But I'm totally not angry.
"For what?" I'm curious.
"For talking to James. Did you know that he'll come tonight?"
My heart jumps with joy. "That's great!"
"And all thanks to you."
"Louis!" Lucy yells from the bar. "Come taste my new masterpiece! I gotta say, if this doesn't make me famous..."
"Does that girl ever move from there?" I wonder.
"I think she set up a bar at her dorm, too." Faldo joins in. "That's the rumor, anyway."
"No, it's true." Louis confirms nodding. "Quite impressive use of magic there, too."
"Lucy, you do realize you're already a bit famous, don't you?" Louis smiles.
"Being a Weasley, you mean? Crappity crap, I really didn't." She rolls her eyes. "Get your arse over here. No one else is currently willing to be my experimental bunny."
"I wonder why." Louis sighs. "You heard the lady. Duty calls."
"So, don't be a stranger." I grin at him as he turns to leave.
"I won't." He smiles back.
With that he walks over to his crazy cousin.
And at this point, my attention wanders to the painfully lonely looking Alice in the other corner.
I turn to Faldo.
"Would you wind if I..." I mimic toward my friend.
"Not at all. I should talk to Al, anyway."
"I haven't officially asked him if I could date you." Faldo winks.
"You're going all old school romance on me here." I giggle.
"Why yes, my lady. And when you finish your intellectual chat with your friend I would like to take you on a very private tour."
I squint. "Was that some kind of an innuendo?"
Faldo stares at me for a second. "Don't go there when we're in public."
And he basically runs away from me. I laugh and finally go to join Alice.
I slowly walk to her, feeling as if I'm dying along the way.
"I'm not sad." She says immediately, not looking away from the three pigs (Of course Faldo would directly walk over to Al and Scorp.).
I open my mouth to contradict her ('Cause seriously? I don't want to be mean, but she looks kind of awful.), but she goes first. "I'm not mourning. If that's what you're wondering."
"I just came over to say hi."
Alice raises an eyebrow.
"Ok, I lie."
"So... are you ok?" I hesitate.
I sit next to her carefully. I want to be supportive and just shut the hell up, since I know that's what she needs right now. But my curiosity doesn't let me go.
"I'm fine, Dora."
"You're in love with him, aren't you?"
Alice just smiles while gazing at Al softly. I sigh.
This is bad.
Back when she was in the hospital wing and I suspected something, I thought it's great. But now, after seeing how much it affects her... I'm not sure anymore.
Suddenly and thankfully, an idea strikes me which makes me so ridiculously happy that I just have to ask.
"You're going to marry him, aren't you?!" I squeal. "He's your future husband and you'll eventually be happy and-"
Alice turns to me, shaking her head. "It's not him."
"No?" My heart drops immediately.
I can almost feel it shattering.
And now I feel terrible for even bringing up such an idea. It'll just make her feel worse. I'm such a talent, honestly.
"No." Alice takes a shaky breath. "Al will get married while working in Spain. He'll be very happy."
Her last words are just slightly over a whisper.
I rub her back tenderly, not knowing exactly how to help.
"But we'll have... a small thing before he leaves. I guess that's what will inspire him to work on the potion." She shrugs.
I then tackle her, screaming. Everyone in the Room stares at me for a moment.
"What?" I roll my eyes.
Haven't they seen an excited teenager before? Heavens. From the corner of my eye, I catch Faldo smiling at me affectionately.
Alice laughs. "I thought it would make you happy."
"Are you joking?! This is great news..."
Then I remember about Al marrying someone else again and feel even more depressed.
Alice nods her head.
"Why doesn't he just come back for you? I mean, why won't he? Heavens, this is confusing." I shake my head.
Alice laughs again.
But then she glances over to Al and sighs. "Not all romances are destined to have a happy ending."
"So... you won't ask him to stay for you, either?"
"I would never do that." She admits. "If he stays he will never do all those amazing things I saw in his future."
"I will have him for a moment, Dora. But some stories don't have a happy ending. I already told you." Alice whispers.
I look at her, my heart shattering.
"Yes, but I didn't know one of those stories was yours. You could still go with him-"
"No. Dora, please." She smiles weakly. "It's not meant to be. I know, stupid, using those lines. But truly, it just isn't. Al needs to stay focused. And he would never have his peace with me."
I'm not truly convinced by this, to be honest.
She looks at me with a smile. "That doesn't mean we won't be great, in our own way, though. Just remember Romeo and Juliet."
"Oh, the perfect example." I snort. "But, wait, you read that? How even-"
"I saw you carrying that book once. I guess you had a black phase or something. I really liked you, even when we weren't close. So I thought, it must be a good book. I later found out it was muggle literature. But I found a way to get it."
"Al again?" I suggest.
Alice nods her head.
Obviously. I gave one copy to Al since he so insisted on having it, too. It was muggle, therefor, it was interesting. That's his logic, anyway. But I assume he never really read it. He just does stuff like that. Something, or someone, has to be very special to keep his attention.
I smile at Alice. If she inspires Al to make a cure, she will be someone special. Which means that, no matter what happens, she always will be.
I squeeze her hand and Alice looks at me with a sad smile.
"One day, you'll find someone. I mean, you already Saw him, right?"
"Right." She nods shortly.
"I'm not telling you anything. You know too much, already." She shakes her head.
But I know she's right. I hug her and Alice breaths into my neck shakily.
When I let her go, I look at the trio again. Well, ok, I stare at Faldo, to be exact. He catches my eye and smiles at me. I blush but still manage to smile back. Although, I fear it came out rather awkwardly.
"You make such a beautiful couple." Alice says quietly.
"Yeah." I agree, absent-minded.
Then I realize what I just said.
"What?!" I panic.
Alice giggles. "It amuses me that you still act surprised when you realize I know things."
I frown. "It's not funny, Alice."
She chuckles. I smile, too, in spite of myself.
"So you know." I state nervously.
Then I remember something else, too. "Wait. Is he-"
"I'm not telling you!" Alice jumps up and goes to join Lily by the fountain.
Al has a weird love for fountains, too. Better don't ask him about it. He'll go into an elaborate discussion and leave you wanting to kill yourself.
I laugh, letting Alice go.
I guess I'll just never learn not to meddle.
I then get up and join Al, Scorp and Faldo in their discussion of something random. Ok, ok, I totally went there just to be close to Faldo. So sue me.
Somewhere along the way, Faldo puts his hand around my waist. And I lean into him. And I don't care that Scorp gives us a slightly disgusted look. I know he feels that's his duty as my alternative brother. Or something twisted like that that only his mind can produce. And I don't care that everyone else is just too involved with themselves to notice.
I don't fucking care.
'Cause the only thing that matters is... Faldo kissed me back. And as far as I can see (Thanks for nothing, Alice.), he always will.
A/N: I know, I know. I'm terrible. I kept you waiting for absurdly long. But I didn't give up on this story. Again, life got in the way of finishing earlier (In both good and not so good ways.). But, now I'm back! And I hope you'll enjoy what little is left of this story (I think it will be just one more chapter after this one.). And, oh man, it looks like it'll be super fluffy, lol. I hope you don't mind much. If there are any mistakes, feel free to tell me. :)
Chapter 15: How It All Ends
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How It All Ends
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep, because reality is finally better than your dreams." Dr Seuss
(The end of fifth year)
The corridor seems perfectly empty and still. The stone walls look more gray than usually. I lean onto one of them and concentrate to summon a pile of papers.
Leaving them on the ground, I point my wand at them. "Incendio."
The fire starts to eat the papers up slowly, creating a pleasant warmth.
It's early April and a snug evening, considering the time of the year. Still, I kinda have a slight coldness-phobia. So that explains the fire.
You also have to count in my natural weirdness. That should help, too.
"You know, Filch is going to send Mrs Norris the fifth after you if you don't Finite Incantatum the hell out of that spell."
I turn around, a wide smile already on my face.
Faldo is leaning against the adjoining wall, his arms crossed. He had a haircut sometime in March and it fits him quite nicely. His eyes are more visible now. Sometimes the levity of my falling into them isn't the most suitable. Especially if I'm supposed to write a Potions essay sitting across from him. But other times, say like now, it's the most delightsome occurrence.
"You know, you should shut up and do something more fun with that mouth of yours."
"Blue, you're becoming very inappropriate." He smirks.
"I learned from the best." I return playfully.
Faldo finally strolls to me and grabs my waist. Our bodies press tightly against each other. I put my arms around his neck, smiling. He leans in and our lips touch slowly, creating a soft sensation.
"I have a surprise." Faldo mutters into my lips.
I chuckle. "Faldo, you know I hate surprises."
He nods. "I know. But I thought you might wanna make an exception with this one."
I raise my eyebrows, curious. "Well, you've certainly got me intrigued. Where to?"
Faldo holds my hand and pulls me down the dark corridor. "I can't tell you. What kind of surprise would it be, then? Actually, wait..."
He walks around me and covers my eyes with his palm.
"Shh, just go with it. Trust me. You'll love it."
"If you say so." I try to roll my eyes but find it to be quite difficult with Faldo's hand over them.
He pushes me lightly and I make my first steps slowly. His closeness suddenly becomes very apparent to me. Faldo smells like a winter day, like the snow, like cold air. But not in a depressing way. After all, I think winter is my favourite season.
He leans further into me, his mouth next to my ear. "Besides, Blue, you don't even know what hate is. You're too nice for that."
"I hated you, remember." I mock him.
Faldo laughs. "I approve of that kind of hate. It led to some pretty non hateful moments between us, after all."
I blush. "Faldo!"
"What?" He plays innocent.
It doesn't suit him.
But then, suddenly, a wave of a deep familiarity hits me. I stop walking. The corridor, the dark, the warm evening, Faldo's surprise, me making an exception, him telling me I don't know what hate is...
Heavens! It's him! I'm even wearing a blue jacket!
"What is it, Blue?"
Should I tell him? He'll think I'm insane. And besides, this can't really be it, right? I mean, we're not even in Paris, but at Hogwarts. And we can't really apparate from here. To anywhere.
Ok, now I'm confused. I guess that's what I get for believing in dreams coming true.
"Nothing. Keep going."
"Are you sure?"
I nod my head and make another step. Faldo follows me. We continue for a while, reviving some fun moments from the past along the way. Like the time I accidentally hit Faldo's nose. Or when I stabbed him with my wand. Also accidentally.
Man, I was very violent with him, wasn't I?
I take a deep breath as Faldo lowers his hand.
I open my eyes and a loud gasp escapes me.
We're in the Owlery. But it doesn't look much like it. The room is filled with dozens of candles flying in mid air. Their lights create a vision of a well lit city. A very familiar city, by that. But that's not really what catches my attention. By the wall hatch which offers a beautiful view of Hogwarts' grounds stands... Actually, the right term is levitates, a medium sized model of the Eiffel Tower, in all of its glory. I walk over to it, hesitant in my desire to touch it.
Faldo strolls to my side, smiling.
"Can I?" I ask him, out of breath.
I reach out and touch the firm model. It actually feels like real metal, too, cold and stable.
I turn to Faldo. "How did you-"
He puts his finger over my mouth, which only enkindles my imagination even more.
I smile and glance at the mini Tower again. "I assume this required some seriously wicked magic."
"Oh, so you think I couldn't have done it on my own." He smiles, teasing me.
"Well, if I ever doubted your skills, which I didn't because, between us, I was always a little jealous of your abilities-I certainly never will again."
Faldo's lips stretch into a self satisfied smirk.
Suddenly he puts his arms around my waist and I get a little lost in those icy blue eyes. "I know you want to go to Paris. The real one. But, for now... I hope this is enough."
"It's brilliant." I smile. "And I can't believe you remembered."
"Well, you did offer me to go with you, after all. I don't know if you still want-"
I interrupt him with a deep, breathless kiss.
When we part, Faldo blinks frantically. "Well, I guess I should take that as a yes?"
"Hell yes!" I assure him. "Thank you. You know, for being a not so bad boyfriend."
"You're welcome. You're a not so bad girlfriend, yourself."
"Well then, we match." I giggle.
I then take an inquisitive look at the floor beside the Tower. Curiously, there's a red blanked outspread on it. I raise an eyebrow at Faldo.
He blushes. "I thought... I mean... Maybe..."
I kiss him again, instead of saying anything.
"I could get used to this kind of responses, you know."
I hit him in the arm. Faldo smirks.
"You're such an idiot, Faldo." I stand on my toes to reach his ear and whisper. "Don't ever change."
And we lay on the blanket looking at each other and... ok, maybe doing some other things, too. What? It's been months since we started dating. And frankly, I mean, have you seen Faldo? The bloke's hot. And I'm only human. Plus, hormones, man. Fucking hormones.
After this night, I know one thing. I'm glad I picked Paris, 'cause now, I'll get to see it with, wait for it, my boyfriend.
I only have to convince mum... No, forget that. I need to convince dad. It won't be easy.
Well, for now, I think I'll just enjoy my boyfriend. That's right! Dora Demelza Dursley has a boyfriend. And is not a kiss virgin anymore. In fact, is not a virgin, at all!
Dad won't let me go with Faldo, will he?
* * *
I sit on the couch, sobbing like there's no tomorrow. Alice pats my back gently.
"It just came around so soon, you know."
"I know." She nods.
"Oh, Heavens, I'm so insensitive. Come here." I spread my arms out, inviting her into my embrace. I hug her tightly, in spite of her clear hesitation.
"I'm fine, Dora." She laughs.
"No, you're not. Don't lie to me, Alice Longbottom. It's the last party." I say those words like I suppose the generations before us would whisper Voldemort's name. With fear and rigor.
"Yeah, and people are staring at us, by the way." Alice tries to wiggle her way out of my arms.
"I don't caaaaare." I whine out, still not loosening my grip.
"Faldo's shaking his head at you."
"In a 'You're such an idiot, but I still love you.' kind of way or..." I turn around.
Faldo, though, is actually busy talking to Al.
I frown at Alice who's now at a safe distance from me, laughing.
"You're a mess." She says.
"I don't get why you aren't. I mean, you two..."
"Dora, it'll be fine. I'm fine. Al's fine. It's all fine."
"Maybe I'd believe you if you didn't use that word so much." I smile, finally brushing my tears away.
We stay quiet for a while just looking at all of our friends.
"James did great with the party." Alice says finally.
"Wait... James did this?" I raise an eyebrow.
"You didn't know?" Alice looks at me in surprise.
And then, she apparently remembers something. "Oh, right. I saw it in a vision. I tend to mix them with reality these days. He probably told Al to keep it a secret."
My heart aches in a pleasant pain. "Heavens, I love him."
Alice smiles at me, nodding her head.
I blink. "I love him. I love James."
"No, I love James. I love my cousin."
Alice starts to frown, clearly confused. "I don't-"
"Where is he?"
I get up. "I'll be back soon, ok?"
With that, I run up to Albus. He's wearing a black pair of jeans and a deep green shirt. Suits him well. It goes with his eyes. His sneakers are glaringly yellow, though. I stare at them. It's kind of hard to look away now.
"Scorp gave them to me. As a parting gift." Al explains in a dim voice.
I suppress a laugh.
" I see how it is, Blue." Faldo smirks at me. "You can't stand to be separated-"
"I actually wanted to ask Al where James is." I jump in.
"Oh." Faldo blushes slightly.
How so human of him. But it's nothing surprising these days. I love how open and vulnerable he has become. Especially with me.
"Just... forget what I said." He mutters.
I giggle and kiss him.
Al rolls his eyes at us. "I'm glad I'll leave just so I don't have to look at you two every day."
"Al! You're such a bad cousin."
"No. You are. You're very insensitive."
I shallow awkwardly and glance back at Alice. "Oh, I'm sorry-"
"I was joking, Dee." He smiles.
But I can sense a trace of tension in his voice. It usually means he's lying.
"James is drinking something Lucy mixed up for him and Ayesha. I think she wants to get them drunk and hook them up." He informs.
"I know she's your cousin." I take a look at the curly redhead standing at the bar, that she herself set up, with her boyfriend whose name is always so hard to remember. Or is it just me?
"But, Lucy is a little-"
"Insane. I know."
I chuckle and hug him tightly, pressing my lips to his ear. "Dance with her. Just once. I know you both want to. And, please, don't forget her."
"Couldn't even if I tried." He whispers back in a sweet voice.
I look at him and kiss his cheek affectionately before running to the bar.
Indeed, I find James drunkenly laughing his arse off at something Ayesha said. I presume it was her, since Lucy is busy dancing with her boyfriend nearby. Also, drunkenly. Why is there always alcohol involved in these parties (The Potters would not approve if they knew what was happening in their own house. Sometimes, they just have too much faith in their children.)? Can't we enjoy ourselves without it?!
Ok, since I cried for almost the entire night, maybe I'm not the best example. But still!
He doesn't answer.
"James fucking Potter!" I shriek.
Thankfully, he does hear me this time.
"Dora? Why is your head so big?"
"Because of my enormous brain, of course. What kind of question is that?"
James and Ayesha burst into laughter again. I wait for a while until they calm down a bit.
"James, I'm not sure if you'll remember this tomorrow. If you don't I'll do it again. Just so you know it's not a crazy moment thing."
James just stares at me.
"James, I-I love you. I do. And, seeing what you did for Al, getting over your pride, being a better man, I just... I can't stay mad at you. And I guess I wasn't even angry after all. I think I wanted to tell you that almost immediately after you apologized that day in summer. And... what I'm really trying to say is... I forgive you."
I turn around to leave, but then I feel his hand taking mine. James walks to me so that our eyes are piercing each other.
Then, he hugs me. So tight, yet gentle at the same time.
"Thank you, Dora." James smiles. "But, I hope you don't get mad 'cause... I was not the one who organized the party."
I stare at him.
"I still came. I hope... that means... something... Oh, Merlin, you're going to take it back, aren't you?" His eyes grow big from panic.
"No, James, of course not." He jumps with joy. "But then, who..."
I turn around just as the new Saimon Reese song starts to play. In the crowd overruled by redheads, dancing together, embracing lightly, are Albus and Alice. I see the content smile on Alice's face and a sad, broken look in Al's eyes.
"That little minx." I shake my head.
"What?" James seems confused.
"Alice. Why didn't she want us to know that she organized the party?"
James casts a curious look at their dancing forms in the middle of the Potters' living room.
"Well..." He stays quiet for a moment, observing them carefully. "I think I get it. She wanted to do something special. And remember, Al was too depressed because of them and he didn't want to throw a party? I think this was her way of telling him to move on and be happy."
I turn to James, impressed. "You can be very wise, James. You know that?"
He dons a smug look.
And then, leans over to puke on my shoes.
Oh, bollocs. Aunt Ginny won't like this in the slightest.
Well, I guess you can't break tradition, right?
* * *
I put my copy of Marilyn's papers down on the table. My eye is twitching.
"She's doing this on purpose."
"Dee, calm down." Charlie tries to reason with me.
Unfortunately for her, I had a very bad day and I just don't want to calm down.
I grip my wand with all my strength, aiming at the annoying reporter-wanna-be.
The Great Hall turns quiet for a moment. Then, everyone burst into laughter. Even professor Aeldra. I didn't know I would see the day. But professor Neville is not so amused by the fact that in the place where Marilyn's head is supposed to be there is, in fact, a quite large pumpkin. He comes around, crossing his arms.
"To the office?"
"To the office."
"Well, at least I can tell that you're progressing with Transfiguration." Professor Neville concludes.
"Wait, does this mean I won't get punished?" I smile in hope.
"Oh, no, you will. I was just taking a moment to compliment you."
I cross my arms and huff. "Thanks."
"What was it about this time?"
"She wrote an article about Faldo. It said that a source saw him with a pretty redheaded girl in Leaky Cauldron the other day. They apparently seemed very close."
Professor Neville nods his head. "I understand you, Dora. But you do know that Marilyn, bless her black soul, does all of this just to annoy you?"
I sigh. "I know. I just can't get it. Why me?"
"If it wasn't you, it would be someone else. And it will be, eventually, when you finish school. She'll have bigger fish to fry. No offense." The professor entwines his fingers casually.
"Non taken. 'Cause, Heavens, I hope you're actually right."
"I am." He smiles.
I smile back.
"So, everything is alright, then? Beside Marilyn, of course." He gazes at me with soft interest.
"Yup. I just can't wait to get out of here."
"So you can be with your boyfriend?" He looks at me subtly beneath his dark eyebrows.
I blush. "Well..."
"I know you're in love, Dora. But don't forget about your other passion. Promise me that."
"I won't." I grin.
He does the same. "Good. You can go now. I will be expecting you in my class tomorrow."
I'm not taking his class, or that's what I remember, at least.
"You still hope I'll forget your punishment? Every time, I swear." He smirks. "You'll pose as my assistant."
"Oh, right." I laugh. "You do know that I'm not so good with plants, right?"
He shakes his head, suppressing a laugh.
I finally leave his office.
Alice will be amused that her father mentioned Transfiguration as my passion again. He doesn't know I won't be a teacher at Hogwarts. Ever. Even though I already said that to him in fifth year. He still acts profane.
I think I'll train dragons with Lee. Yeah, she's still kinda obsessed with them.
I will figure out what I'll do eventually. I mean, I'd love for my job to have something to do with Transfiguration. But when I rule out teaching... what else is there left?
I really do need to think about this more.
* * *
"Dora, look, it's Drake's owl!" Lee points at one beautiful gray owl flying directly to me.
As soon as she lands, I take the letter (In a blue envelope again, of course.), my heart beating in madness.
It always is.
I was sitting on my porch the other day (Yes, finally, I can call it mine!). And it was perfect. The sun was gentle, no clouds. Just a clear, indigo sky. It was so still, I could hear the wind and my heart having an argument about something I will probably never know. But I know someone my heart misses on this big, lonely porch. Yes, I know I'm cheesy, as you've been pointing out all year. But, you should know, cheesy can be nice sometimes. For example, I love your cheesy smile whenever you read my letter. I know, I can't see it. But I just know it's there, lingering on your soft lips. You do have a quite soft pair of lips, you know that? And I miss those, too. I miss everything on you. About you.
Yesterday, my dad appeared at my door (Yes, my door! I never get tired of saying that. Thank Merlin for making me a published author!). Oh, how I wished you could be there. So I could hold your hand. Maybe then I wouldn't have been shaking in such a measure. Or mumbling. The man could hardly understand me. Why? He actually apologized, Blue. But what's more important... he said he loved me.
If there are any stains on the paper, I'm sorry. I cried a little, ok? I hope you don't think I'm a loser now. No, seriously, I'm happy. I always did think, if ever one of them was to come around, it would be dad. Mum is a whole different world. But, I'm not going to talk about things you already know. Ok, maybe except the fact that I love you. I love, love, love you and don't you ever forget that.
And if Roxy is nowhere to be found, as I expect, then turn Owen into a slug or something. Maybe that will keep them apart for an hour. I'm sure Charlie would gladly assist you. I'm kidding, of course. Those two can never break up. I think the world would end. As mine would if you ever dared to do something similar to us. But, you know, no pressure.
P.S. I got a cat.
To spite you.
Because you're a dog person.
And I love when you get angry. Your eyes get this sexy dark shade and... I don't even know. I just miss you. The porch and I (And Blue. Yes, I named the cat after you. Just in case I ever start calling you by your actual name... Ok, maybe I should change it. I love calling you Blue way too much. Sorry.) are patiently waiting for you.
I sit back into the stool, giggling.
Sometimes I wondered why I ever fell in love with Faldo. He can be very annoying, a natural know-it-all and too wise for my taste. But today is not one of those days. Today, I wonder how I wasn't in love with him from the moment we met.
Heavens, his cheesy is clearly contagious.
* * *
Faldo is squeezing my hand so hard that I don't think any blood is left in it. I look up at him. He's biting his lips. Which makes him look quite sexy. And... I totally shouldn't be thinking about that right now. I can't help it, though.
"Are you sure this tie doesn't make me look pretentious?" He pulls on it nervously.
"Faldo, you're pretentious by your own nature. It isn't something you can help, anyway."
He gives me a dirty look. I smile innocently.
It's hilarious just how fussy he is.
I ring on the bell. I imagine it sounds too loud and too long in Faldo's head. He gives me another look, a more panicked one, like he's asking me to support him through this whole thing. I squeeze his hand in return to let him know I will.
The door opens loudly. And a scream is heard. I feel myself being pulled into a tight hug.
"Mum, let me breath!"
She lets go for a moment, just to take a good look at Faldo.
"Sweetheart, where have you been hiding this hunk?" She winks.
I roll my eyes. "Mum, don't be embarrassing."
"I'm just saying..." She kisses Faldo on the cheek. "He's cute."
"Mum, he's standing right in front of you." I remind her.
"Oh, hush." She smiles. "Well, come in, you two."
"Sorry." I whisper to Faldo. "I did warn you, didn't I?"
"So far, so... not so bad." He mumbles back which makes me chuckle.
We step inside and are immediately met with a pleasant smell of food.
It's strange being back home now that Faldo and I are living together. It almost feels like I'm cheating on our house. Yeah, I'm weird like that. Move along.
"Dudley, they're here!" Mum calls out.
At the same time, Faldo squeezes my hand tightly yet again.
They met last year around this same time. Faldo and I were together for a little more than half a year and it was almost in passing. Like-hey, by the way, this guy's my boyfriend now, ok, buy.
Faldo says he was frightened by my dad even then. Dad says he can't really judge Faldo on that brief encounter. I think dad hoped it was only a school fling. And since Faldo was officially out of Hogwarts anyway, I would move on and forget him. That didn't quite happen. More like, Faldo asked me to move in with him even before he had a place of his own. And I accepted. The moment I got back, I told mum and dad to not bother waiting for me at the station. I said I'd visit them after. So, Faldo and I celebrated my moving in with style... something I'm sure dad wasn't too happy about. And maybe when I called them the next day to announce our visit, he sounded a bit...strained. But that doesn't mean Faldo has a reason to be scared, right?
Finally, dad walks out of the living room to great us. The first thing I notice is that he's thin. It's like someone ate half of his body and left all the good stuff behind. It's fascinating! He has never looked better. The second thing I notice, though, is his grim look. And I may start to worry for Faldo just a little bit now.
"Hi, dad." I hug him. "I missed you."
"I missed you too, honey."
"You look great!" I smile.
"All my doing, you know!" Mum yells from the kitchen. "Oh, but don't think anything perverted! I'm only feeding him healthy."
Faldo blushes furiously and I yelp. "Mum!"
"Oh, fine, it had a little to do with that, too."
"What?!" She yells back.
Dad coughs and focuses on Faldo then. "So, is this-"
"Drake Faldo, sir. Nice to meet you." Faldo offers his hand.
Dad looks at it for a moment, suspicious.
Finally, he takes it with force. Maybe a tad too much force. I eye him. Dad lets go.
"Dudley Dursley. But we already met, if I remember correctly."
Faldo nods slowly.
"We should eat!" I exclaim and pull them both to the kitchen.
Mum is a loony but at least they are less awkward silences with her.
I help her serve lunch, fried chicken and my favourite desert, pumpkin pie. I blackmailed the house elves at Hogwarts into giving me their secret recipe for the pie. I know, not one of my brightest moments. I was sad that I'd never eat a pie as glorious as theirs again, ok!? I needed to make drastic moves.
"So, Drake, is it?" Mum smiles at him.
"That's correct." He answers.
Heavens, he's so proper. Why am I in love with him again?
"That's an interesting name."
"My... my mum picked it." Faldo hesitates.
I take his hand under the table gently.
"Ah, your mum?"
"Yeah, she, um, she liked it, I guess. That's the only nice thing she did for me, I think. She picked a great name."
"Oh, did something bad happen there?" Mum insists, even though it's obvious from Faldo's tone it's not a subject dear to his heart.
And that's the underestimation of the century.
But mum can be just that blind sometimes. I glare at her.
"Vicky, drop it." Dad warns her, also.
"It's fine... " Faldo defends her, though. "She, um, she left my dad a while ago. I mean, it was doomed from the beginning and I don't blame her for that. What I do resent is the fact that she didn't even bother to say goodbye to me."
"Oh, I'm so sorry." Mum whispers in regret.
"Parents are bloody idiots." Dad suddenly says.
I look at him in surprise.
"Not all of them, of course. But mine were, too. Having bad parents can mark you for life. But... You can also refuse to let it get to you. I suggest you do the later." He gazes at Faldo, that stern look from before completely gone.
Faldo glances at me puzzled. I smile at him and then at dad, too. He just winks in response.
And that's when I know... Faldo is already a part of the family.
No matter that dad later accidentally stabs him with his fork. And I need to take him to St Mungo's since Faldo kinda loses blood freakishly fast.
I mean, it is incidental, I'm sure.
Dad won't me let go to Paris with Faldo, will he?
* * *
"I hate him!"
"No, you don't. And you know it." Charlie's gently rubbing my back as I cry hysterically.
I stop just to cast a glance at our perfectly lovely fucking picture on my night stand.
"I know." I sob out. "And that's the worst part."
I roll around and press my back into the bad. Lee lays beside me. She picks up the framed photo in which Faldo and I are trying and failing to act serious for a moment. It all ends in laughter.
"Why did he do this?" I whisper.
"You know that, also. Even though I too think he's out of his mind."
I nod. "I mean, we survived my seventh year. Why can't we do that again?"
Lee glances at me, biting her lip. I can tell that she's not entirely sure whether to tell me the following. "Maybe because this is forever? I mean, it's your job and gah... I don't know. It would be hard, indeed. Just imagine him waiting for you to come home for Christmas and summer holidays every year."
"I can visit over the year, too. Times have changed at Hogwarts. They're not so strict anymore."
"Still... You can't be with him every night. And I guess, right now, he can't handle that. Besides, I don't know, maybe this isn't about him, after all. Maybe he thinks you wouldn't really commit to your job if you always wanted to sneak out to see him. And he fears that you'll come to hate Hogwarts because of that? 'Cause it'll always stand between you. And he doesn't want you to feel miserable... he just wants you to be happy. Or, you know, what he believes will make you happy."
I gaze at her, amazed. "Since when have you become so rational?"
"Since stupid Dan decided to give me a lecture about heartache, I think."
"I'm sorry." I hug her. "I'm so selfish."
"No, you're not. I know I won't make things better with what I'm about to say but..." Lee brushes my locks away affectionately. "Dan and I are not you. You guys... You're Drake and Dora. I always thought the world would end if you ever broke up."
I smile. "Funny thing. Last year, Faldo thought the same."
Lee sighs and embraces me.
And I curse my bad luck. And I curse Hogwarts. I never wanted to work there anyway. But, what can I do? I need the money. I mean, Faldo is a published (and a very successful) author, but that's barely enough. Besides, it makes me feel like an opportunist, just sitting around, doing nothing, the girlfriend of a genius. And I, for once, don't seem to have any other abilities other than being a Transfiguration freak. And, yeah, in conclusion-life's a bitch.
And Faldo's an idiot for letting me go.
Charlie and I both fall asleep on my bed, wet from tears.
* * *
The city is just how I imagined it too be. Full of lights and life. I sit on my usual spot in the small cafe near my room. The waiter has put a single red rose in the vase, like always.
"Merci." I try to say it without an accent.
The man smiles knowingly and lets me enjoy the view.
The Eiffel Tower.
Wow. I always dreamed of being right here. But I never thought it would happen.
Ok, I lie. But, the thing is... I was supposed to go with... Well, you know.
After everything, I kinda lost interest for a while.
Thankfully, I came to my senses this year. Otherwise, I would be spending my vacation planning Roxy's wedding with Lee. Even though it's in a whole year. Some people never change. Charlie and weddings are always gonna be a thing. A very annoying thing, if you ask the bride to be. Who is peculiarly calm about the whole charade, may I add. I always thought Roxy would be the type to freak out if marriage was even in sight. I guess Owen truly is the one. Yeah, like we all didn't know that the minute they started dating.
But I can't help it. This whole city... it reminds me of Faldo. Along with other million silly things.
I tried. I really did. To forget him, I mean. I dated four guys in the three years that passed since our break up. Not one of them succeeded to hold my attention.
And it was hard being the lonely, sad one. Especially when I was visiting Al in Madrid. He already met his future wife. Alice confirmed it was her (Ok, I kind of forced her to tell me. I know, I'm an insensitive idiot.). And even if she didn't, I could tell myself. It was written all over his face. Al adores Roberta. He calls her Rob 'cause he loves to tell strangers the name of his significant other and watch their reactions (Since they would always assume Al was gay after that. Which still amuses him highly. What a freak... I adore him.).
Alice hasn't been hung up on him for a long time now. I envied her ability to move on. And I finally understand what she was trying to say back then. They truly were meant to be friends. Otherwise, they would seek each other out.
Maybe that's what's happening with me and Faldo. Maybe we're supposed to be friends, in spite of everything.
We just don't want to accept it.
Maybe we should stop being mad at each other.
Ok, it's more me not wanting to talk to him. Or be in the same room as him. Which is hard now that I don't work at Hogwarts anymore. I have more free time and the same friends as Faldo. It's really oppressive, staying away.
Especially now that he's single.
Ok, he's been single for a year.
I don't keep track! ...Lee told me.
In that moment, my phone starts ringing.
Al got me one. Well, he didn't actually get it for me. It was his. But since he couldn't figure it out, like all things muggle, he gave it to me. How surprising.
"Have you climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower yet?"
My heart races up wildly. "Faldo?"
"You know you want to."
My hands are becoming sweaty and I fear I might drop the phone. "Faldo, why are you calling me again? I told you-"
"Paris is your dream, Blue. But the Tower is special and you know it. Come on, climb it."
Fuck this. "I'm hanging up now."
"Thanks to the Ministry you finally have the chance. So I guess they're not so bad, after all. Well, Harry, Ron and Hermione work there, too. It can't be anything but stellar, anyway. How's it going over there, by the way?"
"Faldo?" I swallow hard, not so sure how to shut him up.
Not so sure if I want to, either.
"I hear you're giving those Auror wanna be's a hell."
"Not more than my students at Hogwarts, really."
"You sound so fond of those children. What happened? Why did you quit?"
Oh, ok. I see what he's aiming at. But is he sure he wants to go down that path again?
"I am not fond of them. After two years, I realized that what I thought so long ago was indeed true. I can't work with children."
"But aren't the Aurors children, too?"
"No. They are talented individuals on the brink of adulthood. There's a huge difference."
There's a small silence in which my heart starts to race again loudly. Can he hear it?
"Are you sure you didn't quit because of some other reason?" Faldo asks quietly.
My throat goes dry.
What does he want me to say? The truth? I'm not sure he can handle such a thing.
It's not that I left Hogwarts entirely for him. But I can't say it wasn't at least part of the reason. Maybe not consciously. Still, it was there. And maybe I hoped that, after two years, he would've realized that what he did was beyond stupid. And maybe I was mad when he didn't.
No. He can't handle it.
"Maybe I wanted to at the beginning. But, no, not really." I lie.
I really don't see what other choice I have. I mean, surely if it hasn't crossed his mind that he made a mistake in these past three years, it won't happen now, either.
Another short silence.
His voice sounds more shaky this time around. "So you're happy? Doing your job, I mean?"
"Yes! Now, if you'll let me, please, I'm going to enjoy my tea."
"I haven't showed you my surprise yet, though."
I sigh, frustrated. "What is it, Faldo? I hate surprises."
"I know. But make an exception for an old friend, will you?"
"Climb the Eiffel Tower, Blue."
Then, the call cuts off. I stare at my phone for a moment. Then I cast a glance at the Tower.
Is it possible... No, he couldn't. But he would, wouldn't he? I bite my lip.
"Gardez la monnaie." I tell the waiter on my way out, after giving him the money.
"You know, we understand English, too." He giggles.
"Oh, Heavens, and you let me talk nonsense for days now?"
"You were too charming. I'm sorry." He smiles.
"You own me a free cup of tea."
"Ok. You also rhyme well."
"Sorry. Two cups of tea?" He offers.
I run out on the street blindly, almost getting hit by a car. Heavens, what am I doing? I've gone completely crazy.
Fuck you, Faldo.
Fuck you and your blue eyes. And you smile. And your lips. And the way you make me laugh, like no one else. The way you know when I'm really angry and when I'm just pretending so you would kiss me. The way you hold my hand like nothing can hurt us. Fuck you for lying and letting me hurt. And fuck you for trying to make it right. Fuck you because I already know I'll forgive you.
And the worst part is, I'm not even having second thoughts.
I get to the final level, only to find Faldo standing by a blanket outspread on the floor.
I want to be furious. I really do. The thing is, though, he has never looked hotter. And it's really hard concentrating on trying to be mad.
"If you think I'm going to have sex with you on that thing, you're very, very wrong."
"Ok, you look hot, but that doesn't mean I feel nostalgic all of a sudden."
"Too bad. I was single for quite some time. The sex would come in handy." He says, sarcasm dropping from his voice. But I'm pretty sure it's the fake sarcasm this time.
"I know, a year. That's not so long, so stop complaining."
"Why do you know?"
I swallow nervously. What kind of question is that?
"Lee told me."
"I didn't ask how. But why?"
"You're a friend. I care... In a sense."
"Blue, stop. Just... stop. This is ridiculous." He shakes his head. "Why do we always do this?"
"Play games? Why can't anything with us be simple?"
"You let me go, Faldo. Stop trying to turn back time."
"I was an idiot, I know. But it isn't a coincidence I'm alone for exactly a year."
I stare at him. "You mean-"
"I mean, the moment you came back, I couldn't even pretend that I was fine being with someone else anymore." He confirms.
"But why did you just stand by for a year, then?!"
Oh. Well that slipped away against my will.
"You think I didn't try? Fuck, Blue, you must've been blind or something..."
"I was not!" I cross my arms over my chest grimly.
"Or maybe you were just too focused on fucking me off to notice. Yeah, that's about right." He nods his head.
I fucking hate him! How could I forget that after his call? I shouldn't have come here.
Faldo's looking at me with those stupid blue eyes. With that stupid sad, gorgeous smile. With that stupid, angelic face. Oh, Heavens, why does he have to be so, so...
"Did you read 'I'll Wait For You'?" He asks in a low, almost hesitant voice.
I mean, the man wrote an entire fucking book about me. I wasn't going to just stand by and pretend like I wasn't dying to know what was in there.
FYI, it was amazing.
Also, I cried.
Still, I was too angry and proud to admit it. Then, that he was still the same guy I fell in love with. Now, that I really never thought anything less.
"Ok, I did."
"Then you know."
"What? Tell me." I dared him.
"I'm sorry." He says it with all the sincerity in the world.
And I know it. I know he's honest. And, yeah, I really don't hate him. It's like impossible for me to do that or something.
I keep quiet for a moment. This is what I wanted to hear, all along. Still, what do I do? I know what I want to.
"You once told me that I'm an idiot. And to never change. So... Here I am... being an idiot." He shrugs.
"It's not that simple, Faldo. It can't be. You couldn't compromise. How do I know you'll fight for us in the future?"
He walks closer to me. I can sense his breath on my face, tickling me. I'm starting to shake.
Personal space, Faldo. Whatever happened to that?
Right. I don't really mind when it's him. Bollocs.
"I won't make the mistake of letting you go ever again 'cause... It hurt so much the first time, I'm sure I wouldn't handle it for yet another one."
I bite my lip. He's just staring at me at this point. Why is he doing that? He's making it hard for me to continue giving him hell for everything. At least for a little longer.
"Blue... you know why I call you like that?"
I perk up, intrigued. In all these years, he never told me. No matter how annoying I got about it. And I was really, really annoying.
What? It really bugged me, ok?!
He smiles. "After we met and the feast was over, you vanished somewhere. I wanted to ask Al about you. I hope you don't hold this crucial knowledge against me in the future, but... I kinda liked you."
I try not to smirk.
"But, then I realized... I forgot your name."
"I know." He giggles. "And trust me, I was embarrassed. I asked Al where you went. Actually, it was something along the lines of… 'So where did Blue go?' He said 'Who?' 'Your cousin?' He asked me why I called you Blue. And..."
He smiles softly. "I answered... 'She has the most blue eyes I've ever seen.'"
Faldo stops for a moment as I chuckle. "I know. I wasn’t very articulate back then. Thank Merlin that trend stopped. Or else, I wouldn’t be a very good writer. But I think you know what it really meant. And… it's true."
He stares into my eyes affectionately. "You do."
I try not to laugh. "That's so..."
I nod. "You know I broke up with Louis because of that? Because he was too cheesy? Why didn't I do that with you?"
I lie, of course. I broke up with Louis 'cause he wasn't Faldo.
"Because me, you loved."
I sigh."Sadly, it's true."
"And sadly, it still is?"
"Fuck you, Faldo."
And I stand on my toes and kiss him.
It feels different than before. Like I can taste all those years that have passed. All the heartache and pain. But also, all the experiences, the fictive distance that never truly existed, the bond that now, somehow, presses my whole body even harder. And it's almost unbearable. Yet perfectly...
Yup, Faldo sums it up brilliantly.
"I'm still not having sex with you on that blanket."
And then we laugh.
(And kiss some more.)
* * *
The night is cold and starry and the grounds are covered in thin snow. I don't mind. Besides, I love winter. I love the beautiful grizzled color scheme it has.
And its smell.
"A galleon for your thought."
I turn around to see Faldo smiling at me. He has never looked more handsome. The black suit is perfect for his slender figure. And Alice was right, it goes well with my dress.
I turn around again and he hugs me from behind, his hands going around my waist and resting on my stomach.
"More like a muddle of thoughts."
He snuggles into my hair.
"Just... I'm a little scared."
"Why?" I can hear the wonderment in his deep voice.
"I don't sleep so well these days. I don't know if you've noticed. Sometimes I still dream all the nasty things children would say to me when I was younger. And their hateful looks. Just because I'm a Dursley. And then... I wake up and you're there, sleeping next to me. And for a moment I'd fear that what happened in that nightmare was reality and you... you're just a dream. And I don't want to wake up. But then when I realize you are real, I get scared. I'm scared that... everything will fall apart at some point. And I'll just be alone and hated again."
Faldo lowers his hand only to take mine and turn me around to face him.
"You're so stupid, Blue."
I smile at the memory those words awake. Faldo does the same. He remembers. That's why he said it in the first place. And for that, out of many reasons, I love him.
"You know what I do? I sometimes just pretend that I've fallen asleep before you so you don't think I'm a creep all the time. But, truth be told, I'd just watch you breath. I don't ever want to sleep. 'Cause reality is so much better than my dreams could ever be."
I laugh. "First of all, you are a creep. And thanks to your own self, now I'll think that all the time. And second, isn't that like a quote from Dr Seuss or something?"
"He's a brilliant writer!" Faldo defends himself.
I chuckle and kiss him.
"Thanks." I whisper.
"No, Dora. Thank you." He says seriously.
"That's like the only time you called me Dora." I tease him.
"Yeah... It didn't roll so well on my tongue." He frowns.
"Lose it." I agree, laughing.
"There you are!" Charlie bursts in on our moment on the balcony.
She pulls my hand. "Come on! It's toast time!"
"Oh, Heavens, do I want to hear this?"
"You bet!" She assures us.
Faldo shakes his head in amusement.
The room is full of people I more or less recognize. There are some guys I don't know at all, though, mostly Lee's colleagues from work. They came here from all different sides of the world.
Charlie's the only female dragon trainer around. And a quite fabulous one, too. I never thought that her dream job would become her real one. And that she would excel at it. She would hate me if she knew how little fate I had in her with that. But I mean, come on. Training dragons! It's terrifying! But I admit my mistake. And now I'm beyond happy for her.
As I am that she's marrying one of her colleagues, Oak Wilson. Yeah, his name really is Oak. Apparently, his parents are good friends with the Scamanders. Go figure. But, he's great. No, perfect for Lee. Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better guy for her myself.
Somewhere in the corner, Al and Rob are snogging. And he was making eyes on us. That boy.
I love him.
Even though he's so in demand right now, what with being so close to finishing his potion for Seers, he hasn't changed. And that's the best thing about him.
He didn't forget Alice, ever. He told me that she'll always have a special place in his heart.
Ok, that sounded like she died or something. Er, awkward. No, Alice is actually here, too. And is flirting, quite obviously, too, with... Is that... Tate from Hogwarts?! Wow, he looks great!
Well, then... That's interesting, I guess. They would make a cute couple.
Wait, wait... Is he her future husband?! Oh, I have to ask her-
"Ok, everyone! I'd like to say a few things." Charlie steps forward and ruins my investigation mode.
"First, thank you, everyone for coming. Especially Roxy." She shows to our friend, who's standing by her right side with Owen. "I know that your ankles hurt 'cause of the pregnancy. And I know that you're only in the mood to eat. So, thank you, for making an effort to get here."
Roxy does not look pleased. Oh, well, nothing new with these two and their relationship.
Owen is hiding a smile, though.
"Also, my made of honor, Dora Dursley." She turns to me and I raise my glass. "Thanks for putting up with me all these years. You're the best. And I hope you'll survive my bridezilla mode, too. If anyone can, it's you."
I laugh. A decade ago, I was very sure I would never be anywhere near Lee in her bridezilla mode. Now? I'm just too happy to be scared. But you should ask me again after the wedding. I'll probably change my mind.
"And finally, Oak." Charlie turns to her husband to be. "I love you. You are seriously a dream come true. I mean, the way you touch me-ouch!"
Lee turns around to see that Roxy is glaring at her after hitting her in the head.
She rolls her dark eyes and looks at Oak again. "What I mean is... You're an amazing lover! There, I said it! What? Well, he is!"
The room is filled with laughter. I didn't expect anything less from Lee, honestly.
Somewhere in the other end of the room, standing alone, is Marilyn Gold with her camera.
Yeah, it's weird, about her. She couldn't make it as a reporter. So she's a photographer for Witch Weekly now. And, as soon as she switched careers, she also switched personalities. She's actually kind of... Nice, I guess. Maybe it's because she never really was happy writing all those bad things. She just needed time to realize it.
Of course, we're not friends. We'll never be. She's just following Al around. Which can be disturbing at times. But, eh, nothing's ever perfect in life.
A loud sound interrupts the party, as James and Ayesha appear in front of us from thin air.
"We're sorry that we're late! I hope you didn't drink everything away."
"You can always ask me for alcohol, you know." I can hear Lucy Weasley from somewhere.
Roxy glares at them. "You're late. Again. You've been banging, haven't you?!"
"Roxy!" Lee hushes her. "Don't talk like that. It's not nice."
"Well, what do you want me to say? It's pretty obvious." She crosses her arms.
"Man, Roxy, you're like the worst pregnant woman ever." James scoffs.
"Speak for yourself!"
"What?! That doesn't even make sense!"
"They were making love, Roxy. See how nice that sounds? You should try it."
"Roxanne Weasley Wood!"
"Oh Merlin, if sex can result in Ayesha being like that, I don't think I like it that much anymore."
"I'm just kidding, Ash. You know I'll always love our sex so, so much."
Faldo takes my hand then and looks me in the eyes sweetly, smiling. I nod, squeezing his palm.
And so we apparate, leaving the mess behind (I know, I'm the worst made of honor, ever.).
Well, that's a story I'd like to keep to myself, if you don't mind.
A/N: The end! :D
Oh, gosh, it's crazy, I actually finished this story. I'm sad and happy and the same time. Thank you all for being such great readers! I hope you like the end, even if it was cheesy (Dora does not approve, lol.). I regret nothing, though, haha.
I think I'll start a new story which will have a similar basis as this one, meaning it will be about the next generation, but post Hogwarts. Yeah, way into the future, lol. If anyone's interested, stay tuned. For you other guys, thanks for being a part of this! You are all brilliant!
I'll shut up now. :D
P.S. I'll probably be going back to some older chapters to correct the mistakes. So if the story gets updated, you should know it's only because of that. ;)