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The Human Factor by SexyDoorFrames

Format: Novel
Chapters: 23
Word Count: 113,232
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: Romance, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Rose, Scorpius, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 01/05/2011
Last Chapter: 03/09/2016
Last Updated: 03/09/2016

Summary:
amazing Banner by noxxx.@tda





Watch as structure disintegrates
Change is the enemy
Flaws are exposed
Love is a poison
Self destruction is the goal
Let's discover what makes us human
The road to hell is paved with bad intentions...

 

Dobby Award Winner For Best Original Character 2011


Chapter 1: The One Where It All Begins
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter, I’m not that cool.

The chapter titles idea comes from Friends, one of the most amazing shows ever. The story title comes from angeless7fallenstarsong.

Authors Note: Hello! How are you all? Welcome to my new story. I’m really excited to give you the story of Pippa Nott. I know I should be updating my other stories, but this one just wanted to be written.

Please tell me what you think! I think that would make my day, plus I’d love to hear what you think of the story! I’m always unsure about the first chapter. What do you think of Pippa?

Thanks so much so reading!

Thanks so much for emmapotter & StEpH_M  for being my beta!






Chapter One -
The One Where It All Begins




Amazing chapter image by shudder @ TDA



“Now, can we find out whether I am a murderer or not?” – Albus Potter








I have made many mistakes in my life, but the one that really takes the biscuit is this; trusting Albus Potter for a single second. I should never have trusted him.  If I had just said “no, I don’t really want that chocolate bunny”, I would happily be poking a first year until they cried.

Confused? Good… Okay!  Alright! You’ve worn me down; I’ll tell you about my woeful day.

It began (and is still happening) on a grisly Tuesday.  I was strolling though Hogwarts minding my own business, when I came across two boys whispering like old women.  I should have just turned around and wiped the whole thing from my memory.  Not that it would be easy, I have an excellent memory so I’d probably end up Obliviating myself and turn out like Gilderoy Lockhart.  I mean, I can still remember when I broke my brother’s nose after whacking him in the face with a gnome.  I was four and had anger problems. He'd chucked some dirt on me, so I broke his nose. Fair, yes?  See? It’s excellent. Alright, so I cannot remember where I put my Remembrall and I can’t remember when my potions essay needs to be in but apart from those minor details, my memory is awesome. Anyway, so I had discovered two boys whispering in the hallway. Unfortunately for me that these boys were Albus Potter, a raven haired pale devil and Scorpius Malfoy, a stupid blonde boy who once tied me around a tree for six hours. It was originally a game but he ended up forgetting about me.  Thus, I got the worse cold ever and started a cold epidemic.  Scorpius somehow, ended up avoiding the cold and came down with the flu instead. So it was all fair in the end really.

It took them all of five seconds to spot me. “Pippa.” Albus spoke, his voice calm as Scorpius chewed on his bottom lip. The boy has a habit of thinking his bottom lip is bubble gum. Albus eyes narrowed. “How much did you hear?”

I felt a little bit like I was on the set of some spy film.

I pondered the answer to Albus’ question. In all honesty? Nothing but I lied of course. “All of it.” I smirked, like the evil genius that I was.

Albus wasn’t fazed but Scorpius shrieked a little. “Really?”

Erm…. “Yes.”

Albus stepped closer to me; he would have invaded my personal space, if I had any.  “What are you going to do about it?” He stared at me with that intense look that he’s perfected. The boy actually needs to take a chill pill once in a while in my opinion. In fact, he could do with one all the time.  “Tell the professors?” He was challenging me, I knew that and I relished in it.

“No. I’m telling your momma!” I blurted out as Albus raised his eyebrow. Momma? I need to stop watching those Muggle TV shows that my brother is addicted too. We watch them in secret as dad thinks they’re filth. It's true though, they are filth. Everyone gets pregnant, parties even when sleep deprived, drinks too much before the love of the life saves them from self destructing. Then usually they get their happy ending or die tragically in an angst overdose. Either way, someone cries and I don't like it when people cry. Crying is for babies.

Scorpius gasped and I was getting closer to hitting the boy. He acts like a girl too much.

Albus laughed. “Really?”  I nodded. Once again, I was lying. I wasn’t going to write to his mother; that’s just embarrassing and I’m a Slytherin. We don’t do embarrassing; we’re too cool for that.

Please stop rolling your eyes now.

You’re hurting my feelings.

I’d cry for effect if I didn’t think crying was for wussies. Plus, my face goes all blotchy and it really isn’t a good look.

“We’re scared.” He mocked me. “Aren’t we Scorpius?” Scorpius looked around to check if there was anyone else called Scorpius  before deciding that Albus was referring to him. Albus smacked himself lightly on the forehead because his best friend is an idiot. “Anyway, I’ll trade your silence for…something.” Albus eyes glinted in the light.

Scorpius pulled out a chocolate bunny covered in gold paper, it had a little bell around its neck. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen . I’m a girl and I love chocolate, yes, I know I’m a walking cliché but they are called clichés for a reason. “This?” It looked delicious. I wanted it; I was going to have it. Even if I had to kick a puppy to get it, I would. Nothing would stop me biting off that bunny’s head before eating its arms.

“She’s never going to fall for that-“

“- Deal!” I said snatching the bunny out of Scorpius hands. I stared at the bunny. I think I was drooling.

Albus looked deep in thought for a moment before speaking. “There is another bunny in that cupboard. That’s where Scorpius got it from.”

My eyes widened as I ran into the cupboard. Only to have the door shut behind me.

“Idiot.” Albus muttered as he turned the key in the door. “See you later Nott.”

I had been tricked!

I thundered on the door for a long time to no avail after I discovered that the cupboard was completely devoid of chocolate; this made me completely pissed off and annoyed, with Albus, life and mostly myself. I wish I had never run into this stupid cupboard. Sometimes my thinking process just shuts down.

I need to work on that.

  …No one was coming to be my prince in tin foil. I think that’s the saying anyway. I munched on the chocolate bunny. It was delicious; it could have been poisoned for all I cared.

I wish I had my wand. I left it underneath my pillow. Which frankly is idiotic but that’s me. I didn’t realize I didn’t have it until I was half way to dinner and I didn’t think there was much point in going back to get it. I mean, I know everyone wants to kill Slytherins but I didn’t think they’d try on this sunny afternoon. I mean, it just wouldn’t make sense. You need dark, depressing weather to make stuff like that more dramatic.

I hummed softly to myself trying to come up with a plan.

…Nope, I got nothing.

I slid down to sit on the dirty floor. I cringed, but I would have to take two baths later. I hated germs with a passion.

So, with nothing to do, I sat there, rocking like a mad woman. Forwards, then backwards. Forwards, then backwards. It seemed like an eternity. I imagined this was like Azkaban: no wonder granddad is crazy.

“I can’t believe you locked her in a cupboard!” I heard my brother complain from outside.  If you looked at us, you probably wouldn’t know we’re siblings, we look nothing alike. Where as I am small, weedy and frail looking, my brothers physique reminds me of a bear. He’s a year older than me and he never lets me forget it. Sometimes he made my life hell just because he thought he was trying to protect me but when I punched that girl he was seeing, he went loony. I didn’t get that. It’s always one rule for him, another for me. Plus, I had a good reason for punching that girl; she called me babe. “Pass the salt babe.” I mean, who actually says that? Damien didn’t speak to me for two weeks and James Potter told me my brother was ‘deeply hurt’ or something. I just thought it was his time of the month. James was my brother’s best friend; they went everywhere together. It was annoying but I had grown accustomed to it.

Just because I look like a wimp doesn’t mean I am one. It comes in handy though, I guess, people tend to underestimate me and that is when I curse them.

“That’s awful Albus.” James scolded. “I mean, what did Pippa ever do to you? And don’t roll your eyes at me!”

“It was only a joke.” I could practically feel the shrug in his tone. It made my blood boil.

I could have died! I could have been eaten by spiders. I could have caught a tramps disease from this dirty floor.  Anything could have happened really.

That’s when my brilliant plan sprang to mine. I would pretend I was dead or at the very least unconscious. This would then make Albus feel bad and he would come near me. This is when I would jump him and beat the life out of him.

Good plan right?

I organised myself on the floor. I placed my arms out on either side and tried to make myself comfortable, which was impossible. Ah the pain of revenge! I was going for the damsel in distress look. I wasn’t sure I was pulling it off to be honest.

“Pippa? Are you in there?” Damien asked. He seemed a bit worried, I wanted to answer him but dead people don’t speak. Not unless their ghosts and I don’t think I could pass for a ghost. I’m not pale enough nor am I transparent. So fail really.

“Of course she’s in there.” Scorpius said brightly. “We locked her inside.”

“Thanks for that genius.” Damien snapped. “If you’ve killed my sister, you’re paying for a new one.” There was silence for a moment. “Shut up, I know that didn’t make sense.”

“You can have ours.” James replied cheerfully. “She fancies you.”

“…That’s nice to know.”

“That’s why she kept on coming into my bedroom to see if you would have your top off.” James mused before laughing at the stalking tendencies of his baby sister. This family is weird.

I wish they would shut up now; I am laying here ‘dying’ for merlin’s sake! This shows how much they care doesn’t it? Just wait until Damien is in trouble and then I’ll get my revenge.

It would be time for ‘mwhaha’ but I have to remain silent.

“If you had your top off in James’ room, I’d start asking questions.” Albus added. “Now, can we find out whether I am a murderer or not?”  I hoped Albus was close to tears but his voice was calm; as always. He didn’t care.

I swore revenge on him then.

“Give me the key.” Damien ordered. He inserted the key in the lock. I shut my eyes and the door swung open. “What the hell?” Damien said confused. “Did you kill my sister then shove her in this cupboard?” Damien asked in the same voice he used to ask if he could have toast in the morning. “Cause my dads going to be pretty annoyed, I’m supposed to look after her.”

Fine job you’re doing here Damien.

“She was fine when she ran into there earlier.” Albus shrugged. “Maybe she bumped her head? Or choked on that chocolate bunny ‘cause she acted like a big fatty and tried to eat it all at once.”

I tried not to scowl but it was difficult.

“Oh my!” Scorpius was pacing. “I’m going to get sent to Azkaban for assisting a murder!” Scorpius gasped. “My dad is going to kill me! And my mum, she’ll cry!” She will you know, Scorpius is her world. I have no idea why.

“Haven’t you noticed she’s breathing?” Albus said in a ‘duh’ tone. He walked over to me and leant down. “See, her chest it moving; that’s usually a sign of breathing!”

This is when I sprang back to life and grabbed Albus’ collar so I could face him, eye to eye, nose to nose, lips to lips, that sort of thing.

Albus yelped, Damien cursed, James shouted and Scorpius screamed like a little girl.

I had pulled Albus too close because I felt his breath tickle my face. I ignored that, like I said earlier, I don’t have personal space issues unless you’re smelly. Then you have to stay away from me. “You are an idiot.” I yelled at him. He just stared back at me with those annoying emerald eyes. “I will get you back for that! I’m so hungry I could eat a hippo and it’s your entire fault, Potter.” I continued to ramble to him. “That was just pure mean, Ice boy.” I gibbered, I wanted to be mean, I wanted to be cool and all that was coming out of my mouth was nonsense and it was laughable.

Albus smiled at me and I wanted to punch him for it. Albus was many things; he was often described untouchable, which was the opposite of his brother who was an open book ready to be absorbed and read. Albus on the other hand had shut out the world despite it’s pleadings to be let in. No one could open that door. Not the girls that promised to love him forever or the boys who had promised to watch his back.

 Sometimes it was like he wasn’t even there, an ice sculpture that grew harder every day. Of course, he had an Achilles' heel, the moment where he sprang to life.  The one moment when you felt that Albus was actually human and that was when he smiled.

Despite being colder that snow, his smile sets everything ablaze. It was warm, it sparked your soul and I almost found myself smiling back. I refused, I wouldn’t. My scowl was my armour. My insides felt like they were going to combust and I would let them burn into dust before I gave in.

You wouldn’t see this smile often, but when you did, it would haunt you. I’m not even sure he knew what his smile even did to people, if he did, I’m sure I wouldn’t be on the receiving end of one as I am now.

“What are you smiling at?” The words were ragged but I didn’t care. “Tell me.” I ordered forcefully.

The smile faded into that dead look of his. “You,” He said laughing. “I’m smiling because you’re so ridiculous and I find that funny.”

I blushed, not just from embarrassment but from anger. It was a familiar feeling. “I…you…I” I couldn’t get my words out; they felt like they were strangling me. It didn’t help that a lump was rising in my throat. I cursed myself; I should be stronger than this.

I Philippia Nott did not let anyone win. It was my thing, it was my life. That may be sad but I don’t care.  It was all that I had.

“What Nott? Did I upset you?” He teased. “I thought you’re meant to be a little tough girl? But you’re just like the rest.”

I wasn’t, I couldn’t be. I was special; my mother told me so!

The clogs in my brain whizzed furiously as I scanned him for a weak spot. Nothing was coming to me so I took a stab in the dark. “I don’t care; be unkind, cause at the end of day all I’m doing is pitying you.” Everyone hates to be pitied. Without waiting for a response I calmly let go of his shirt, got up and walked away as Albus watched me. I felt his eyes tearing a whole into my back but I didn’t know his expression because I never looked behind me. Looking back would show that I cared, that I was bothered.

And I wasn’t.

…Not even a little bit.

 






Next time on The Human Factor

“I don’t dance.” I told him randomly, I tried to shut up but the words wouldn’t stop. “My father tried to make me do the rhumba once.” Oh my, I have come down with a serious case of foot in mouth syndrome.  “He wanted to spend more time together; he is weird like that.” I am an idiot. “I ended up breaking my ankle because I jumped out of a window to escape and I didn’t realize we weren’t on the ground floor.” Breaking my ankle really hurt; it was fixed five minutes later but that isn’t the point.

“Thank you for that fascinating snippet.”  Albus mocked.  “When is the book out? The useless tales of Philippia Nott?”



Chapter 2: The One Where Pippa Can't Sleep
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter. If I did, I’d be rich and the size of a mansion cause I'd spend all my money on food.

Authors Note:  Hi! Happy Valentines Day for those who celebrate it! I hope you’re all okay. Thanks so much for all the feedback on chapter one! It makes me super happy. I’m so glad you like Pippa too; this chapter allows you to get to know her more.  It’s pretty much just a two handler, but Scorpius features heavily in the next chapter.

Please review, they’re like my muses brain food. Ask questions too! 

Thanks so much for emmapotter & StEpH_ for being my beta!


 










Chapter Two –
The One Where Pippa Can’t Sleep



Amazing Chapter Image By SilverThimble@ TDA


  “When is the book out? The useless tales of Philippia Nott?”
- Albus Potter






I am an insomniac. I cannot sleep.  I’ve tried counting things, I’ve tried boring myself to sleep through books, I even did a little jog before I  got wheezy and couldn’t breathe.  The fact remained that I couldn’t sleep. Not one little bit. I stopped taking naps after Damien said I was turning into a grandma and it fixed things for a while; I could sleep, even if it was only for two hours. Though recently my insomnia has come back; I don’t know why. If I knew what caused my sleeping problem, I would fix it. I would fix it quickly because I’m getting jittery over the shadows in the dormitory. 

Alright, I’m a little afraid of the dark. It’s only because I can’t see what’s lurking in the dark; it hides the bad things; only bad things need to hide. Shiny and beautiful things bask in the light.

I cursed quietly to myself as I slipped out of my bed.   I glanced at Cassie, my best friend of six years, but my uneasiness didn’t shift as it normally would.  Usually I felt better by just looking at her but not this time. It was like I was suddenly immune to her shine that she radiated so easily. I wrapped my arms around myself involuntarily. Cassie’s long dark hair was sprawled over her pillow as she slept blissfully. It was this that stopped me from waking her.

I shuddered; I was becoming soft.  

This was a disaster.

I picked up my cleaning supplies and I slipped out of the dormitory into the dungeon hallway.  The green light filtered into the dungeon; it was better than darkness. Anything was.  I hummed softly, feeling the excitement due to the satisfaction that cleaning would give me.  It’s amazing when something is dirty and you scrub it until it shines. It looks like a completely different thing.  The only thing that annoys me is the common room is never really dirty because of the house elves.  So I’m not really getting my praise for being the secret night time common room cleaner.  

Life sucks, sometimes.

I entered the common room and usually pure silence welcomed me, but someone was disturbing it.  Someone was making noise; someone was destroying my haven.  I was confused; I never had to share the common room at this time, it was mine and I don’t share.  I don’t share food; I never shared my toys when I was little. I mean, why start now? There isn’t any point.

There was a silhouette lying on one of the settees. I stomped over to the person, fully intending to wake them up and insult them to a hurtful degree. But I stopped when I got there, because Albus Potter lay there.

I stared at the boy for a couple moments. He was sleeping but I gathered it was anything but a peaceful sleep.   He was drenched in sweat and his face was contorted with pain and terror. It's weird : I was watching Albus Potter having a nightmare.  

I wondered what he would be afraid of. 

Ghosts?  Nope, I’ve seen him having conversations with the Bloody Baron. What about? I don’t know.  That ghost freaks me out a little; I think it’s the blood on his clothing.  If I was a ghost and I was dirty, I’d spend eternity trying to figure out how to get clean or at least another outfit.  Spiders? Nope, I’m not buying that.  James? I laughed a little. Lily? Hmm, that was an idea. I mean she frightens me, especially when she pulled out that scrapbook of my brother she had made. She taped his head onto the body of a penguin because they are her favourite animals. That way she had both of her favourite things at once.  

Lily is crazy.

So after all my thoughts, I still had no idea what was tormenting him so much.

Should I wake him? Release him from this nightmare? I hadn’t made up my mind until he got too agonising it watch.  Man, I really was getting soft.  I need to go and hex someone or go and do something evil. I rubbed my eyes from tiredness…I suppose I’ll do something evil tomorrow. I reached out to wake him but something stopped me from making contact.  I remembered the boy locking me in the cupboard, for what it turned out, was only half an hour.  The time I was in the cupboard didn’t matter, it was the principle.  I suddenly grew angry.  It wasn’t just the cupboard incident; the boy has been mean to me over the years, before he stopped feeling that is.  He once called me teeny, which is offensive for someone as vertically challenged as me.

Alright, I’m out. I suppose we haven’t had as much interaction as I thought. Not in reality anyway.  But still, the anger didn’t fade. The knots in my stomach grew tighter, the breath hitched in my throat as it grew drier with every waking moment. Albus Potter was at my mercy. I couldn’t understand how people could sleep in public places; being asleep makes you vulnerable, especially from angry midgets like me.

I had power, even though it was for a single second, it felt good.

The universe must just love Potter and hates me because that’s when Albus shot straight up in terror. He stared at me like I was transparent.  He was seeing me, but he wasn’t at the same time.  It wasn’t a good feeling.  Then it hit him: I was Pippa Nott and if I was on fire and he had a glass of water; he’d drink it. No worries though, I’d do the same for him. Albus glared at me silently. I raised my eyebrow, I couldn’t take him seriously when he was sweatier than my great aunt Betty and she’s sweaty to the degree that you shower after each hug. Until your mom moans that you keep disappearing to have a shower that is.

Albus stared at me with abhorrence with those dull, beautiful dead eyes of his. He was trying to put up the castle walls that were usually erected between us that had been broken by my witnessing that Albus had problems with sleeping too. I’m surprised he even needed to sleep; obviously when the universe gave him the perfect life, it didn’t give him the perfect mind.   I shook my head; lack of sleep was defiantly making me feel delirious.  I rolled my eyes at his glare, which had not subsided.

There was a deeply hateful silence between us. The silence made the room and the gap between us seem even bigger. It wasn’t even a good silence; it was deeply uncomfortable but I’d be damned if I was the first person to speak.  

Ho-hum.

This is fun.

This is about as fun as being eaten alive by a shark.

This must be the longest time no one has spoken in the entire world.

It’s all hunky-dory.

I think I’m going to speak now. Screw my rules, I’ll be damned. If fact, I’ll relish in being damned, it will be fun. I’ll have hell parties, drinking fire whiskey and dancing. I lie. I won’t do any of that. I don’t do parties because that requires social interaction and niceness, both are not my greatest strengths. The one time I drank fire whiskey, I was sick all over my cat Binksy. I don’t think he has forgiven me yet. I just have no luck with pets. Finally, I don’t dance, I tried but people told me I resembled a robot. I am far too uptight to dance and I’m proud of that.

I’d dance to that but it would defeat the purpose.

“I don’t dance.” I told him randomly, I tried to shut up but the words wouldn’t stop. “My father tried to make me do the rhumba once.” Oh my, I have come down with a serious case of foot in mouth syndrome.  “He wanted to spend more time together; he is weird like that.” I am an idiot. “I ended up breaking my ankle because I jumped out of a window to escape and I didn’t realize we weren’t on the ground floor.” Breaking my ankle really hurt; it was fixed five minutes later but that isn’t the point.

“Thank you for that fascinating snippet.”  Albus mocked.  “When is the book out? The useless tales of Philippia Nott?”

“I would not call my book that!” I scoffed before I realized that wasn’t the real insult. “Anyway,” I scowled at him. “If I was to write a book, it would be a bestseller.” That’s because I’d force everyone to buy it.

Albus just shook his head. “Is there also a story in there of when you were dropped on the head as a baby?”

“Actually, I think Damien did drop me on the head when I was a baby.” I admitted. “He wanted a muffin and forgot I was in his lap.”  I don’t think I should have told him that. It only makes him look right…crap. What to do? How to get some kind of respect and dignity for myself? Ah! Turn it all on him. “Did you have pleasant dreams?”

It didn’t touch him, I thought he’d crumble or at least look mad. But I got…nothing.

Zero.

Zilch.

Nada.

How annoying.

Albus stared at me with cold eyes. Something must have happened to make his eyes go cold like that, because the frost doesn’t take over that easily.  “I did thanks. Is there any reason why you aren’t sleep at…?” He checked his watch. I was jealous, my dad won’t let me have a watch, he says it’s too Muggle for a pureblood. He likes being pureblood; I couldn’t care less.  “Four am?”  I stared at his watch; I wanted it. Some people wanted brooms, books, the latest thing …I just wanted Albus’ watch. It was a chunky, mechanical, bloke type watch; it was beautiful.

It would look good on my wrist. I’d have to put another hole into the strap because my wrists are tiny but that didn’t matter.

“Are you going to answer Nott?” Albus asked annoyed, bringing me out of my thoughts.  I looked at him confused. I couldn’t remember what he had said as I was too busy staring at his watch.

“Did you say something?” I asked as I pushed the thought of pinning Albus down and ripping his watch from his wrist.

“I asked why you were up at this time?” He deadpanned.

“I came down to work on my essay for charms.” I snorted at my own joke. I always leave my essays until the night before it’s due in. That’s when my insomnia is a positive thing; I can do all nighters without any problems. Although I wouldn’t recommend my system as I got a D on my last essay, but it’s better from the T before that so I was pretty happy.

Albus snorted. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re a little…” I glared at him forcefully, daring him to say the next word. Of course, he continued.  “…stupid?”

How was I not supposed to take that the wrong way? Albus Potter was calling me stupid and he was more stupid than me. We can’t all get good marks and become a prefect; I have no idea how that had happened. Prefects help people and I’ve never seen Albus help anyone, but he can dock points quicker than I can annoy people and my record is under a minute.  

“I’m not stupid. I just don’t apply myself.” I shrugged. It’s true or at least I like to believe it is.  “I couldn’t sleep, so I came to clean.”  My honesty surprised myself; I should have lied. Always lie; never tell the truth. That’s the way I go through life. Or again, that’s what I like to believe.  “Why do you sleep in the common room?” Albus looked annoyed so I cracked a joke; I have no idea why I do these things. “I mean, I know Scorpius snores really loudly.” I know this because the boy is my cousin; our moms are unfortunately sisters. I have been trying to ignore this fact and for the past sixteen years, I’ve been doing a good job.  “You’d have to sleep with no blanket and that is just weird.”

“I don’t think that’s any of your business.” Albus said going all snotty. 

Well, someone got off the wrong side of the settee.

“I clean the common room every night, if you’re going to use it as a place to sleep; I need to know so we can work out a system.”

 “A system?” Albus frowned and I responded with a scowl.

Albus clearly didn’t understand the importance of systems.  Systems made up my whole world. If I haven’t got a system; the world isn’t right.

“I can’t clean around people.” I confessed tightly. “People are messy and they just get in the way, like you for example.”

“Then I’ll leave you.” He spat as if he was offended. “Sorry for getting in your fricking way!”  He was pissed and I wasn’t sure why. It crossed my mind that this was the reason I lied. People get mad at the truth. People are always happier with the sweet lies you tell them. 

I thought that would be it but Albus had to get the last word in. He had to ruin the system of strangers; don’t tell people your secrets; it’s always a bad thing especially when you don’t even know them all that well.  “I sleep in here because it’s peaceful.” He confessed and it unnerved me. It turned out it was one confession for another; if I saw that small print, I would never have said anything. Though I didn’t understand why he found the common room peace full yet his nightmares still found their way to take control of his dreams.  I didn’t ask though. I wouldn’t ask because I didn’t want to know anything about Albus Potter; I wanted him to stay blank in my mind.  The more I know about him, the more he falls from grace and he becomes just ordinary. It frightened me because if Albus Potter was ordinary, what hope did the rest of us have?

 Albus stared at me and I stared at him. It wasn’t like one of those looks that were full of passion and words that were left unsaid. It was one of pure nothingness. It had no meaning to it yet I found myself having to tear my eyes away.  Albus shrugged before walking away. I watched him to make sure he was actually gone; I didn’t trust him to believe he wouldn’t linger.

I looked around; he had most certainly left.

For that, I would be forever grateful.

I could clean now.

I opened my box of cleaning supplies. I had a bunch of cleaning things but for this, I only needed four of them. Along with my bowl of course, but my bowl doesn’t count.  I took out my furniture polish first with the cloth that I only use for polishing. I placed them next to each other in a line. Next came out the scrubbing brush that I placed next to the polish. Finally, I pulled out my prized buffing cloth; the emerald coloured one.  It was Slytherin colours and if anyone asked I could lie and say that it had sentimental value as Damien bought it for me. In reality, I loved it because it brought out a shine like no other.

“Aguamenti.” I whispered as I pointed my wand at my bowl. I watched it fill up with water and instantly I started feeling a little better.  I placed my wand on the floor and dipped the scrubbing brush in the water. I never cleaned with magic, as it didn’t help soothe my mind as normal cleaning did.

 I began scrubbing the table.  Instantly, I was better.

I wondered whether I had fitted Albus into the right pigeonholed boxed. I thought I had figured him out. It turns out I didn’t but that doesn’t matter because by tomorrow I’ll have ignored this night as if it ever happened. I’ll go back to pretending that everything is okay. Normality will be returned and I’ll be fine.  

I knew one thing though; sleep was going to be impossible.

I scrubbed the table a bit more until my hands were raw.










Next Time On The Human Factor

“Think about your next words carefully”

“Gosh, Pippa, you are an angry midget.” He cursed.  “I didn’t mean the fat part cause you’re not fat.” That’s good to know that you think that cousin. “You’re not big either, in fact you’re tiny.” His eyes widened. “You haven’t grown since we’re ten!” Actually, I haven’t grown since I was fourteen actually. “Have you got a problem?” He whispered, as if he might offend me. He did but for entirely different reasons.

“I haven’t got a problem with growing Scorpius.” I hissed. “I am just short.”

“Oh...it sucks to be you.”

“It’ll suck to be you too in a minute.” I threatened.



Chapter 3: The One With Rose Lollipop Weasley
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter. If I did, Dishwasher would be king. I’d also be really rich and famous. That’d be nice. I don’t own Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum either.

Authors Note: Hello! How are you all? I hope you’re having a good day. Welcome to chapter three. I hope you like this chapter. It’s the next one I’m really excited about! We finally meet Cassie, Pippa’s best friend and the next chapter is important for the plot. There is no Albus in this chapter but fear not, he returns in the next chapter to annoy Pippa. There is now previews at the bottom of the chapter.

Thanks so much for your support so far. It means a lot to me!

Please review. Reviews are brain food and keep Pippa talking to me. I’d love to hear predictions on what is going to happen in later chapters. Plus, I’d love to hear what you think about Scorpius. He features a lot in this chapter. I'm doing things my way so I would love response on everything.

  There is bad language in this chapter. Pippa swears. Please don't read if you'll be offended by the word for a female dog :)

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my Beta :) It's much appreciated.

 







Chapter Three -
The One With Rose Lollipop Weasley



Beautiful Chapter Image By onlyInevitability@TDA.

“We’re creepy people, Pippa.” - Scorpius Malfoy







Damien bit into his raw carrot with a loud crunch.  “Will you just speak to her?” I frowned, he pouted.  “I mean, I don’t have any female friends to talk to her.” I snorted. Damien can only just about cope with one best friend, never mind two and a female at that . Damien is weird with his friendships. Either that or me and James are very demanding and take up all his time. This could be the case. “And you’re female.” He stared as me for several moments with a strange look in his eyes.  “Although, some people have tried to dispute that fact.”

“Watch it; I seem to be your only hope.” I warned as I spooned porridge in my mouth.

 “I know. I’m expecting pigs to fly at any moment.”  Damien muttered angrily to himself. He was usually too stubborn to ask for help; ah pride, why must thou be a hard up bitch?

“Pigs can fly.”  I rolled my eyes. “Do you not remember that time where Aunt Astoria charmed those pigs to chase mother?” I smiled slightly at the memory.

Damien paused for a moment until that light went on in his very small brain. “Yes! I remember mom almost having a mental breakdown at that one; she hasn’t been able to look at a bacon sandwich since.”  Damien demolished his carrot. “Will you help or not?” He leaned back on his chair to rest himself on the table. Damien was sitting at the Slytherin table in the great hall; I should have known he wanted something when he came over but at first I thought he just wanted to spend some time with his lovely sister.

Cough. Cough.

I scratched my chin. “What’s in it for me?” It wasn’t going to be an easy task and I do nothing for free.

“I’ll owe you one.” Damien waved his hand as if it was nothing.  I could make him do anything now.  He was a stupid boy sometimes.  Actually, he was a stupid boy all the time.

I smirked. “It’s a deal!”

Damien and I shook on it. He tried to yank my arm off and I tried crushing his fingers. That’s just how us Nott’s do a handshake.

 Now the only thing I had to do was actually follow through with his request. Damien had asked me to talk to the she devil that is Rose Weasley.  It was going to be awful. I could see it now, I’d play nice and she would try to curse me.  It’s pretty fair to say she doesn’t like me and the feeling is mutual.  It all started when I told Moaning Myrtle that Rose was gossiping about her. It was only supposed to be a joke but Myrtle took it all too seriously; Rose now has to go all out to avoid her otherwise Myrtle starts flooding all the bathrooms. I would never have done it if Rose wasn’t so boring and made me feel stupid in front everyone.

Little know it all.

“See you later, Pip.” Damien said before leaving me to go back to his table as I glared at him. I hated it when he called me Pip, which is why he calls me Pip.  

That’s right Damien, get what you want and go. No time for that sibling bonding thing. Which now that I think about, it is good that he left . The very idea of sibling bonding makes me feel sick.  I mean me and Damien working together? We’d probably kill each other or I’d kill him.  Either way, some murder would be going down.

Ah, that’s sibling love for you.

I returned to eating my porridge, which was now cold. I looked around the room trying to find the joy that is Rose Weasley. I couldn’t spot her, either she wasn’t here yet, which was practically impossible or had already been, which was highly probable.

“Hello cousin!” Scorpius said dreamily as he slid into a seat next to me.  I looked around to see if he was talking to anyone else, nope, I wasn’t that lucky.

“Scorpius!” I hissed. “Not so loud!”

“Was I speaking loud? Funny…I didn’t realize.” Scorpius sighed. Sometimes, I still can’t believe I was related to this idiot. I tend not to broadcast it, even though I’m sure people realize. “I woke up this morning to find I had one of my socks missing…did you take it? The one with the happy snowman on them?”

“Why would I take your sock?” I lied. I had taken it as I knew the happy snowman were his favourite pair of socks in the world and I was bored. I would hold on to it until I needed something from him.

 “Because you’ve been avoiding me since the cupboard fiasco of last week?”

“Scorpius, I’m always avoiding you.”  

“Really?” Scorpius frowned.  He looked like he was going to cry for a moment before he shook his head. “Oh I get it now! That was sarcasm wasn’t it?”

“Nope.”

“You’re doing that whole sarcasm thing again! Oh, Pippa, you are funny.” He was laughing hysterically by then. I didn’t get the joke.  He then began choking on his toast and I had to hit him hard on the back. Stupid cousin trying to choke himself to death; It’s such an inconvenience. Once Scorpius life was no longer in danger, he decided to speak.  “What are you doing on this fine Saturday morning?”

If he suggests us to do something together, I will push him off his chair. “I have to go and stalk out Rose to find out why she isn’t talking to Damien.”  I grimaced; I shouldn’t have told him that. 

“Really?” I waited for it. “Can I come?” There it was.

“No.”

“Please?”

“No.”

“Pretty please?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re annoying.”

“So are you!” Scorpius retorted. “I’m coming. I don’t care what you say Pippa, let’s go on anadventure.”  He stood up to make his point; I yawned. “Come on!” He poked me in the arm. “Adventure time!”

I didn’t like the sound of that but I followed him anyway. I might as well as get this over and done with. You never know, Scorpius might be some help. I doubted it but it could be possible.

“If I was Rose Weasley? Where would I be?” Scorpius mused to himself as he paused for a moment before answering his own question. “Up her own ass probably.” He joked. I almost laughed.

Almost.

“Shall we try outside?” I suggested.

Scorpius nodded. “Good idea.” He gave me the thumbs up. The boy is so lame.

Scorpius and I walked around outside on the castle grounds for a while before we found her. She was reading; well I suppose she was a Ravenclaw for a reason. Plus, I don’t think she has any friends. I have never seen her with another human being that wasn’t her family.

 I was going to go straight up and talk to her. But this was Rose Weasley. She was evil. Rose was a lot taller than me, but so were a lot of people. She had toffee brown eyes, but so did a lot of people. One of the most original things Rose has ever done is dye her hair blonde. Red was the norm in her family, shades varying depending on the gene pool. Hers was originally a carrot colour and I think she always hated it, I mean why else would you change it? One term she just returned with blonde hair and a killer bitchy attitude. It was a lightish somewhat dirty blonde, unlike mine which was an golden blonde and Scorpius’ whose hair was so bright, if you stared at it for too long, it hurts your eyes. 

 Rose wrinkled up her nose. I think she felt our presence. Panic rose inside me thinking that she might see me.

So for some reason, I dived into bush. Scorpius the sheep dived straight in after me.

“Why did you dive into a bush?” Scorpius whispered with a confused look upon his face.

“I’m trying to fine tune my plan of action.” I lied as I tried not to imagine the germs crawling on my skin. I was going to be okay once I showered. I just had to breathe and focus on the task at hand and not the germs.

“What’s your plan of action?” He asked interested and buying the lie.

“Just go over and talk?” I shrugged.

Scorpius rolled his eyes. “That’s not a proper plan Pippa.” Scorpius picked a thorn from his hair. He glared at the tiny thorn before flicking it at me.  “Out of all the bushes we dive into, we dive into a thorn bush. What are the odds?” Scorpius mused before chuckling to himself.

I rolled my eyes. “It’s us.” Scorpius smiled. “It would have been weirder if this plan had gone smoothly.” I picked a thorn from my hair and my butt.

“True.” He agreed. Scorpius and I had been involved in many plans together and I couldn’t remember a single one that turned out perfectly. Even if it was something as simple as stealing cookies from the kitchen. The plan went something like this, Damien would always be on the lookout for pesky parents; I would be in charge of climbing up on the counter then grabbing the cookies from the cupboard and Scorpius job was to catch the cookie jar after I had grabbed it so I could climb down.

 I always got the crappiest jobs because I could fit into small places and I was a good climber. Also Scorpius was afraid of heights and Damien was still traumatized from when he got his hand stuck in the railings outside our house; he thought he was going to lose his hand and I was too busy laughing at him to help him out.

The ending of this plan went a bit like this, Damien yelled that our parents we’re coming, I panicked and fell off the counter with the cookies onto a frail Scorpius.  The cookie jar bashed him in the eye and he elbowed me in mine. That was the week we both had black eyes and pretended to be pandas.

Scorpius hummed happily to himself. “So why are we stalking Rose?” I opened by mouth to argue but Scorpius carried on. “I mean, I thought the whole original point of this was to just talk to Rose but we seem to be in a bush just watching her.” Scorpius shuddered. “We’re creepy people, Pippa.”

“We’re not stalking Rose.” I told him, shrugging off the rest of his comments. I was not creepy. Sure, I was watching Rose but for a reason; I was waiting to make my move.

Okay, that sentence just made me out to be the lord of the creepers.

“Okay, why are we doing intense individual research on Rose?” Scorpius looked proud of himself. He reminded of when Lucie caught his first mouse. Lucie or Lucifer Bobbins Nott is my ugly, fat tabby cat. He’s evil. He loves me, he hates Damien. That’s just the way the world rolls on its axis. I also have Binksy, my other cat but he stays at home because Mom over feeds him and he misses that too much. Plus he doesn’t like people and with the amount of people in Hogwarts, he almost had a cat breakdown.  “I mean, couldn’t we have picked a more interesting person? Rose is about as fun as wet fish.”

“It’s Damien fault; not mine.”

“Why does Damien care so much?” Scorpius asked, interested and I decided to divulge him with an answer.

“It’s Damien.” I stated simply thinking that would end it but Scorpius still seemed confused so I continued. “Damien can’t stand anyone being mad at him.” I told Scorpius in a ‘duh’ tone. He’s only known Damien for 16 years; he should know this simple crap about him by now. I did.

“Why are you helping him?” Scorpius asked, again. He was irritating me now.

Breathe in, breathe out, Pippa.

“I had nothing better to do plus, I can use this to my advantage when I want something later.”

“That’s very clever of you…I’m quite surprised that you managed to think of that.” Scorpius grinned as I scowled.

“I am clever Scorpius.” I told him and he snorted. Scorpius face crunches up when he snorts; it isn’t the most appealing look he’s got going on. “Alright, so I agreed to talk to one of my enemies for my brother and I may get killed in the process and-”

“It’s okay to have enemies you know.” Scorpius said in a mystical voice or at least I think that is what he was trying to attempt. It was actually more like his normal voice with a bit of a growl.  I raised my eyebrows at him as I waited for whatever advice was about to come out of his mouth. That’s the trouble with Scorpius; you never know what he is going to say. “Just having enemies means you stood up for something…or that you’re just a big fat bitch who no one likes.” Scorpius pondered his ‘wisdom’. “Though, I think you’re the latter.”

I grabbed his hair and pulled.

He yelped.

I let go.

“Think about your next words carefully”

“Gosh, Pippa, you are an angry midget.” He cursed.  “I didn’t mean the fat part cause you’re not fat.” It’s good to know that you think that cousin. “You’re not big either, in fact you’re tiny.” His eyes widened. “You haven’t grown since we’re ten!” Actually, I haven’t grown since I was fourteen. “Have you got a problem?” He whispered, as if he might offend me. He did but for entirely different reasons.

“I haven’t got a problem with growing Scorpius.” I hissed. “I am just short.”

“Oh...it sucks to be you.”

“It’ll suck to be you too in a minute.” I threatened.

Scorpius ruffled my hair like he used to do when I got upset at something when I was little. “And well, the no one likes you part…that is sort of true.” He shrugged, “Sorry, Pippa but you’ve managed to offend a lot of people.” I couldn’t argue with that. I seemed to have a knack for annoying people. Oh and upsetting them but that’s a whole different thing. “I like you though, if that means anything to you?”

“That means nothing to me.” I told him and in response, Scorpius flicked me in the forehead. How can I be related to this loser when I’m so cool? “But it’s okay, Scorpius, I know that I haven’t got a fan club or anything.”

“You’re close to getting one though I think the ‘I hate Pippa Nott club’ will be created soon.”

“That would be awesome.” I grinned manically with wide eyes.

Scorpius shook his head. “I wonder for your sanity sometimes…”

“So do I, but since I question having my sanity it means I still have it.” I told him and Scorpius gave me an odd look so I explained. “If I was insane, I wouldn’t realize it.”

“Oi! Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum!” Rose yelled at us. I looked at Scorpius and he looked just as confused as I was. Who the hell are Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum? I don’t know whether to be offended or not. I mean, are Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum two hot blondes? Cause if so, she’s complimenting us! She looks really angry though, so maybe not. Hmm, I’ll have to ask Cassie about who they are later. “Why are you stalking me?”

Scorpius coughed. “We weren’t stalking you Weasley.” She didn’t believe him. “We were watching you.” Rose looked like she believed that. “There is a difference.”

“I don’t think there would be in the eyes of the law Malfoy.”  Her eyes glinted in the light with a spark of evilness. 

So Rose was threating us with the law. I’d like to say that was new to me, but it wasn’t. I’m the grandchild of a Death Eater and Scorpius father was a Death Eater, who is also my uncle. We’d be so screwed; no one would believe us over Miss Moody over there.  It turns out she might just have a personality but I was wary. Once a wet fish, always a wet fish in my opinion.

“Psh.” Scorpius wasn’t taking her seriously and neither was I. “You may be a Ravenclaw, but I’m a Slytherin.”

“Evil is our middle name, do you want to mess with evil, Rose?” I didn’t like calling her Rose because I didn’t like her name or her. It just seemed like a first name argument but believe me, my mouth is burning from saying a name that is so sweet sounding. I wouldn’t be surprised if her middle name was lollipop or something.

“No it isn’t.” Rose snorted as she ran her fingers through her hair. “Nott, yours is Astoria.” Oh, wasn’t Rose Lollipop Weasley clever?  “And Malfoy? Yours is Hyperion.”

 I couldn’t help but laugh. Scorpius seriously got the bad end of the middle name stick. I was named after my awesome aunt or as Scorpius calls her ‘mum’.

 “Who is stalking who now?” Scorpius asked.  “Because I sure as hell don’t know your middle name.”  I’ll tell him about Lollipop later. “Creeper!” He pointed at her. It’s a good job she wasn’t exactly near us because he would have jabbed out her eye. “Creeper!” He repeated to get his point across.

“Alright Scorpius, chill your chilli.” He was getting slightly embarrassing now but this was Scorpius I was talking about; he is the epitome of embarrassing. “I’ll sum this up for you, I’m a creeper, Scorpius is a creeper and you’re a creeper.  We’re all creepers.”  Scorpius and Rose both looked offended.  “Anyway, the reason we’re wasting our Saturday here is because of Damien.”

“Damien?” Her interest perked. If my brother has any romantic connection to this girl, I will feed myself to the giant squid then if I don’t die, I’ll throw myself off the astronomy tower. Though I reckon the first would probably be enough to kill me; I can’t swim. I asked my dad to take me to the local Muggle pool  so I could learn, but because I wasn’t showing much magical ability, in fact I showed none my dad thought I’d catch Muggle. Even though that was impossible. He was so  happy when it turned out I wasn’t a squib. So was I to be honest.

“Yes, Damien. My brother from the same mother. He’s tall and he once had a huge marble collection which used to bug me so much because he would always lose his marbles and not in the good way either.”

“What did he want?” Rose cut me off clearly annoyed.

“He thinks you’re upset with him, is there any truth in it?” I felt like a grown up. I was talking things through like a mature human being.

“Why would I tell you?” She was being pompous. It wasn’t actually like I wanted to know; I didn’t want to know anything about who is upsetting who. I didn’t actually care.

“Because Damien asked me to ask you.”  I barked at her. “I don’t actually give a crap. So has he irritated you or not?”

“No, he hasn’t irritated me.” She was miffed though; clearly at me, since she wasn’t mad at Damien. “You have though.”

“Don’t be rude.” Scorpius butted in rudely. His innocence and youth that clung to him had evaporated in a giant black smoke of rage. “Pippa is just trying to help out Damien; you don’t need to be a big bitch about it Weasley.” He spat. The sunny boy had turned into a savage who wasn’t taking any prisoners. “You could have just answered yes or no. It’s not hard.” He was on fire now; a switch had flicked inside his brain, from normal to psycho. It was both fascinating and scary at the same time. Though I wasn’t scared of Scorpius; I could never be. “But no. Everyone thinks you’re nice, but I think you’re a bitch.”  

 Rose didn’t respond, she couldn’t respond, I think she was too much in shock. I also would have chucked in something witty but found it impossible for words to leave my mouth; this was a new sensation and one I wouldn’t like to repeat ever again. Being speechless kind of sucks.

I had never seen Scorpius angry like this; in fact I had never seen Scorpius angry.  Scorpius was a glass half full person, optimism and life radiated from those grey eyes. Scorpius managed to own rooms without trying, he was like moth to a flame; you just radiated to him. We were the opposites of the magnet, he attracted and I repelled. I was a dull grey and Scorpius was all the colours of the rainbow. Right now, he was a shade of violent red and for a moment, I was blinded by the boy, no the man, I grew up with.

“So get the hell of your high horse Weasley and get over yourself.”  Scorpius finished, uncurling his pale fist.

Rose was flushed red with rage. I thought a full blown rant was coming Scorpius way but all she managed was three words.  “Piss off Malfoy.” Scorpius had seemed to of got her where it had hurts; I was proud of him. It took skill to find someone’s weaknesses quickly and figure out which was the biggest one. Rose stood there, her blonde hair whipping wildly in the wind. Her eyes flamed with resentment and something else…anguish? I don’t know and I didn’t care enough to find out.

Scorpius’ smirk faltered into a smile.  “That’s fine; I’ll do it with pleasure.” Scorpius linked my arm. I tried to unlink my arm but Scorpius was surprisingly strong so I gave up. Scorpius stared at her one last time with malice. “Leave my family alone; Damien included.” He then dragged me off, leaving Rose Lollipop Weasley feasting in her own anger. She was most certainly eating a full course meal.

What the hell had just happened? I wondered whether I was inside some parallel world. These things just didn’t happen. This wasn’t my life. This couldn’t be my life.

This was carelessness.

This was cluttered.

It wasn’t organised.

It was hell.

“What the hell was that?” I asked once we were out of sight as I stared at my cousin; if that’s who he actually is. It struck me that he was breaking out of his bright, shiny box that I stuck him in many years ago. It seemed that people we’re being confusing lately. They were acting out from the norm; it filled me with dread, uncertainty and anger. People needed to stop messing with the flow; they needed to stop making things messy.

But then, just like that, my Scorpius returned with a smile on his angelic face. “It just annoyed me she was being like that to you.” He shrugged like it was nothing. “That’s all.” He was back to being in high spirits; he was humming happily to himself.

I eyed Scorpius suspiciously. “Why though?” I wondered whether he wanted something from me; people were only nice to me when they wanted something. It had made me harbour a lot of distrust for random niceness.

Plus, I learned how to take care of myself from an early age so I always gave the impression that I didn’t need anyone to stick up for me, I could fight my own battles…I still felt like that. I was never going to become one of those pathetic people who needed others to live.

“You’re family.” He told me, which was accompanied by his trademark crooked grin.  It was two words but it seemed to shake something inside me. I had spent hours inside my head denying that I was related to him many times but he seemed accepted it so easily. We were cousins; that was fact.

I didn’t understand how; I knew I wasn’t the easiest person to be related to most of the times. Well, all of the time really. I was often foul, snarky, cynical and sarcastic who had a habit of pissing people off. That was me; I was okay with that, it just seemed that no one else was.

 I knew it wouldn’t last but for that single moment, I was proud that Scorpius was my family.

Not that I’d ever admit that to him or anything.

Never.

That thought would die with me and never leave my lips.  I would never animate those words with speech.  

I did punch him on the arm though.

Scorpius rubbed his arm. “Ow. That hurt.” He joked. “You need to work on your punch.”

“I don’t fight with my fists.”

“You fight with your mind?” Scorpius suggested.

“I’m not telepathic.”

“That is a pity, it would have been helpful.” Scorpius grumbled. “I hope it is lunch time. You want to come check it out?” He wanted to spend more time with me. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t my world.

I tugged at the arm that was linked with Scorpius.

Let me go.

“No, I’m not hungry.” I lied because suddenly I felt jumpily. My agitation was obvious but Scorpius chose to ignore it. Perhaps he was used to it or perhaps he was just blind. But it didn’t matter because my mind was focused on the escape.

I needed to run. I felt like I couldn’t breathe properly but my lungs were working perfectly. My head was fuzzie and the world suddenly seemed smaller. It was coming closer; it was suffocating me.

I tugged at my clothes.

“I’m just going to go back to my dorm and get started on my homework.” I told him. I wasn’t sure how I was getting these words out. Scorpius raised his eyebrow but dropped his arm from mine anyway.

“That’s alright.” Scorpius seemed to accept my reasoning easily. “I’ll see you later, Pippa.”

“Bye.”

I watched him stroll away, perfectly alright with his own company. I just wanted to crawl out of my skin. I wanted to shed. I needed to start anew. I waited until he was out of sight before running.

I ran as if my life depended on it. I noticed no one else; they were invisible to me. No one but me existed. I loved running; I felt like a butterfly taking its first flight every time I ran.

I ran until I reached my dormitory. It was my fake home that I was stuck in for a lot of the year. It was often absent of my presence. My bed was placed in the corner; it was out of the way. It was mine.

Mine. Mine. Mine.

There was something wrong with my corner. Something was a miss.

A school book on my bedside table was crooked.

I didn’t leave it like that.

I placed it on my book pile, making it align with the others.

Everything was okay again.

I could breathe.

For the moment.

 





Next time on The Human Factor

“Hello Damien.”  I scowled at him, as Cassie started helping herself to Gryffindor toast. I whacked it out of her hands. “Gryffindor toast is bad.” I told her as she wrinkled up her nose in fury.

“What’s the worst that can happen? I get a big head and a desire to save people?” She looked at the toast with disgust.  “Actually, I’m not very hungry.”  I had put her off Gryffindor toast. My nice deed was done for the day.  The Gryffindor’s at the table were glaring at me and Cassie but I ignored them and Cassie seemed to be in a world of her own so she hadn’t even noticed.


Chapter 4: The One Where Cassie Almost Eats Gryffindor Toast
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

This chapter was inspired by Greys anatomy, haribo and annoying friends. Oh, and you!

Authors Note: Hello! How are you all today? I don’t usually do fast updates like this but this is a special occasion! I have been part of HPFF for five years. Yeah, I know. I seem old. I feels it! I would have never made it this far without you, my readers. I’d probably given up ages ago. Five wonderful years and I’m still happy to be here.

So to anyone I’ve ever spoken to ever, thank you so much and here is to the next five years!

Oh! Thanks for all the support I’m getting on this story! It makes my day. In this chapter, Albus returns, there is no Scorpius and you meet Pippa’s best friend, Cassie Holmes. I’d love to hear what you think of Cassie! And this story in general!

Comments and opinions are always welcomed. Reviews make the world go around.

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my Beta








Chapter Four –
The One Where Cassie Almost Eats Gryffindor Toast



Amazing chapter image by GryffindorGirl153


“What’s the worst that can happen? I get a big head and a desire to save people?” - Cassie Holmes





“Cassie, get the hell out of bed now before I start going hell bitch on your ass.” I shouted at her but she wouldn’t budge. I had never met a lazier girl in my life. She would sleep for days if I let her. “Cassie.” I warned but she didn’t open her eyes. I tried tugging the blanket off her but Cassie has man strength. I ended up falling backwards and onto the floor.

Alright, that hurt. Now I was going to kill her cause falling on the floor ruins my reputation as a badass.

I picked up a jug of water that always sat on a side table but no one ever used.  I then proceeded to dump the whole jug of water on her. She growled at me as she jumped out of bed quickly. I smirked; she now had a soggy bed. “I hate you.” She muttered like she fully meant it. “I’m drenched. I can already tell this is going to be the best day ever.” She rolled her eyes before she grabbed her clothes then she walked like a zombie towards the bathroom while muttering that she was going to find a new best friend as soon as possible. “I will get you back for this!” She yelled before slamming the door.

It was obvious that someone wasn’t a morning person.  She is like a monster until she’s had breakfast and coffee.

 I heard the shower switch on as I began to make her bed. It took a few minutes until I was satisfied that the blanket was straight, the corners matched up and there were no crinkles ruining my wonderful work. Cassie would never appreciate this, she wouldn’t even notice it but her bed wouldn’t get made otherwise and I couldn’t even think about that happening. It freaked me out too much.

 Cassie emerged a while later looking human with her trademark ruby red lips. Cassie won’t let me near her lipstick ever since I used her favourite shade to write ‘Damien Nott sleeps with a teddy bear’ on the wall of the great hall for fun.  Both Cassie and Damien didn’t speak to me for a week. I was quite the loner that week, I almost took up reading.

“You’ve put your hair in an alarming high ponytail.” I looked at her as I picked up my neatly organized bag. “It looks awful.”

“Yours is in a plait.” She noted stony faced as she folded her arms across her chest grumpily. “It’s a Monday… I’m trying to find the will to live.”

I paused for a few dramatic moments. “Did you find your will to live?”

Cassie rolled her eyes as she ignored my last comment. “Let’s go to breakfast. We’ve got classes to get to so that we can become the best witches the world has ever seen.” She grabbed my arm and began dragging me towards the great hall. She was a girl on a mission and that mission was to get food. I’d joke about this with her but she’s got her crazy going on. You don’t want to mess with Crazy Cassie; she may kill you with butterflies and rainbows. That would be the worst kind of death.

I snorted. “I don’t think that’s going to happen, for starters, you’re lazy and I’m stupid.”

“Your self confidence amazes me sometimes.” Cassie smirked. “And is that your opinion of me? I’m going to get that on my grave.” She sighed happily as if she was imagining it. “Here lies Cassandra Norma Holmes -”

“-She was lazy and loved pigs.  She will be sadly missed.” I finished for her.

“Unless, I come back as a ghost and I haunt the living dead out of you.” Cassie laughed. “And I don’t like pigs, I prefer dragons.”

I had to drag Cassie back to reality before the dragon daydream took over. “What the hell is the living dead and how can I get rid of it? So just in case you die, I’ll be alright.”

“I don’t know.” Cassie shrugged. “My Mom used to say it after Cactus the cat bit the dust.” She paused before putting on her old woman crackly voice which is meant to sound like her mom. It doesn’t. I’ve met her mom. She’s sounds normal. “Cactus is going to come back and haunt the living dead out of us. Just watch! He will.”

“Did he?”  I asked slightly interested.

“No, he didn’t.” Cassie flicked me in the forehead as I frowned. “Pippa, my mom and dad are both muggles. If Cactus did come back and haunt us, they’d be petrified.”

I suppose that was true. If I was a muggle and I saw a ghost; I’d never leave my house ever again. I’d become agoraphobic, die of hunger and then Binksy and Lucie will eat my face so I will be an ugly corpse. 

As soon as I entered the great hall, Damien was waving me over. I had spent the whole of yesterday avoiding him and wondering whether Saturday actually happened. I mean, does this mean I’m now somewhat friends with Scorpius? Does he think I’m a weak willed girl who can’t fight her own battles? I sighed. Scorpius was the least of my worries at the moment. I felt like if life had a face, I would punch it until it made sense. I sighed as I walked over to my brother.

I had told Cassie that Rose Weasley was a crazy witch who needed a chill pill. She figured something was up when she found me cleaning everything she owned.  She then tried to cheer me up by pretending to be a turtle. She put a pillow on her back and crawled around the room slowly. Cassie makes a good turtle.

It also made my day better.  I didn’t tell her that though. I never tell her.

“Hello Damien.”  I looked at him, someone clearly hadn’t brushed his hair this morning. Cassie started helping herself to Gryffindor toast which I immediately whacked out of her hands. “Gryffindor toast is bad.” I scolded her as she wrinkled up her nose in fury. The Gryffindor toast just lay on the floor. I had an urge to pick it up and place it on the table but I resisted the urge.

“What’s the worst that can happen? I get a big head and a desire to save people?” She looked at the toast with disgust.  “Actually, I’m not very hungry.”  I had put her off Gryffindor toast. My nice deed was done for the day.  Maybe even for the year. Maybe for my whole entire life. The Gryffindor’s at the table were glaring at me and Cassie but I ignored them and Cassie seemed to be in a world of her own so she hadn’t even noticed.

“I’ll ignore that Pippa.”  Damien said before he took a sip of his orange juice as I accidentally wished he would choke on it.

“Ignore what?” I said innocently as I crossed my arms across my chest. “Hello James.” James looked at me with a small smile on his lips before shaking his head softly.

“Hi Pippa.” James said cheerily. “How are you?”

“I survived the aftermath of annoying Rose Weasley.” I may have answered James but I directed it to Damien. “Thanks for that Damien, thanks.”

He leaned casually in his chair. “No problem.” He grinned. “Now tell me what happened.”

I ignored the fact that it seemed to be more of an order than a request. “Well, me and Scorpius spent ages trying to find Rose and-“

Damien cut me off. “-Are you telling me you willingly spent time with Scorpius?” He eyed me with uneasiness.

I shrugged. “What’s the problem? You hang out with him sometimes.”

“You hate people.” Damien answered snottily. “And idiots.” That was true. “Scorpius is both.”

“You’re both of those things and yet I still manage to put up with you somehow.” I told him, feeling slightly defensive.  “So will you shut up and just let me finish?” Damien just nodded. “Right, we found Rose who took an extra dose of bitch that morning.” Damien frowned but James laughed, I grinned at him. I wish James Potter was my brother, but I also found James Potter a little bit attractive so I guess it’s sort of good that he’s not my brother cause that would be weird. Still though, James has a much better sense of humour that Damien. James gets my humour, Damien doesn’t. “To sum up our epic journey, you haven’t irritated her.” I eyed my brother carefully. “She was happier when I told her I was there for you and not for me.”

Damien shrugged. “People are always happier to see me than you.”

I drew in my breath. Okay. I must not punch my brother to death. I cursed him in my head as I smiled sweetly. “Only the girls, my dear brother, the boys are always happy to see me more.” James started to choke on his milk and Damien looked like he was about to murder me.  “Just ask around.” I winked. This was too fun. He was actually taking me serious. He hardly ever does that, infact, I think this may be the first time.

Cassie snorted before deciding to join the conversation. “Pippa, you are not a seductive goddess, you are just a general loser.” I frowned at her. Cassie would ruin this. “I suppose you have a nice face though.”

“Thanks.” I muttered. “You’re a great friend.” I told her sarcastically.

Cassie tossed her hair over her shoulders in that dramatic way. “Thank you. I think so too.” She winked at me.

“You do know that by hanging around with me it makes you a loser too.”

Cassie pondered this before finally saying. “I’ve changed my mind, you’re a seductive goddess.”

“And the world is thankful for that.” Fred Weasley piped up. I looked at him as my brother gave him a dirty look and he just laughed. Fred Weasley was a fifth year Gryffindor whose talents were getting into trouble and then getting himself out of trouble. Fred had charisma that I had never seen before, you wanted Fred to be your buddy, you wanted Fred’s heart to belong to you, but with people like Fred, they belonged to everyone. No claims, he was a bird who couldn’t be caged. To cage him would be criminal. He sprinkled little drops of gold dust everywhere he went; bringing smiles and laughter. Not a lot of people could do that and no one did it better than him.

“Shut up Fred.” My brother frowned at Fred but we all knew that there was a smile that was trying to escape.  

Then James’, Fred’s and Damien’s expressions all darkened. I looked to see what they were focusing on; Nathan Morgan had just walked into the great hall. I closed my eyes for a few moments.

Nathan was one of the most aesthetically pleasing people I had ever seen but there was something dangerous lurking behind those eyes. If you looked closely, you could see it. It was there in every step he took and it was hidden in his lazy smile. It was just waiting to crawl out and make an appearance.

I shuddered involuntarily as I opened my eyes.

I had inherited a slight hatred from my brother towards Nathan that sometimes went a bit wonky. Damien hated Nathan and I had never understood why. Damien had never told me. In fact most of the guys I knew hated Nathan. I shrugged; maybe it had something to do with jealously? Nathan not only could have the pick of the whimsical females, he was also the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, a strangely coveted job.  Something in which made both Damien and Albus his rivals. Nathan stopped in front of the Gryffindor table which never happened.

“Hello Cassandra.” Nathan smiled at her.  “How are you?”

Cassie shrugged nonchalantly. “Hello Morgan.”  Cassie doesn’t even like Nathan yet they exchange pleasantries every day. It was something I couldn’t really figure out. Cassie doesn’t talk about it much.

He turned his attention away from Cassie for the moment. I thought he was going to pick an argument with Damien or James, who I was standing in front of. Instead he focused on me.

“Hello Philippia.” He spoke in that cool tone of his. He called me Philippia.  It shouldn’t feel strange because that’s my name but it did. Maybe it was because no one actually called me Philippia anymore or maybe it was the fact that it had been spoken to by Nathan Morgan. Either way, I felt odd and I didn’t know why.

It wasn’t like I hated my name. I don’t. I’m not going to threaten to slaughter you if you call me the name my parents put on my birth certificate. I like my name. People just didn’t seem to call me it. Ever. Even my parents only used Philippia when I had made them angry, otherwise I was Pippa.

Nathan was still staring at me with those fatal eyes. I avoided them as much as possible. I didn’t like eye contact, especially with strangers I couldn’t make my mind up on. Nathan was something I couldn’t shove into a box that easily and that unnerved me. He was crawling out of ‘My brother’s enemy, you must hate him’ box with ease and probably didn’t even realize or maybe he did and was actually an evil genius? That could be the case.

 “Hi.” I squeaked as that’s all I could manage. He must think I have problems. I do but I didn’t want him to know that. I want him to think I was amazing, cool and normal but he must think I have speech problems.  Life is great sometimes. I wasn’t going to seduce anyone with awkwardness. I guess I wasn’t a seductive goddess. I’ll guess I’ll just have to be human.

“I’ll see you around, Cassandra.” Cassie shrugged like it was nothing. Sometimes, my best friend was the epitome of cool. It usually appeared when boys were involved. She transformed, I did too but in opposite ways. She became flirty with bags of confidence. I became tongue tied and I found it hard to exist in those situations. “And, you too Philippia.” I managed to nod like it was nothing, which surprised me because my stomach was churning.  Nathan gave one last wave before walking towards the Ravenclaw table. Ah, what a creepy dream boat! To keep up appearances, I put my hate face on.

“You know him Pippa?” Fred said, like he was disappointed in me or something. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I just glared darkly. I didn’t want to be a disappointment but in my eyes, I had done nothing wrong. Was I supposed to ignore him? Probably.

“What the hell was that?” James asked, thoroughly confused just like I was.

“I hate him.” Damien hissed and crossed his arms angrily like a small child. “Who does he think he is?”

“Nathan Morgan?” Cassie interjected helpfully. Cassie wasn’t even fazed when Damien threw the dirtiest look he could muster; she just stuck out her tongue at him.  “What’s the big deal?”  She asked, a little naively. Either she has gone stupid or she is trying to push Damien's buttons.

“We hate that guy.” Damien, Fred and James all said at once. I feared that they may have spent time practising that. If so, they are geeks to the highest degree. 

“And what is he doing talking to you?” Damien wondered a little bit too harshly. It seemed like he was implying that I wasn’t worth Nathans time, which is quite the insult, because if I wasn’t worth the time of someone he thought was lower than low, who’s time was I worth?

“And what is wrong with me?” I asked offended. I mean don’t worry about me, it’s not like I have feelings or anything. Damien opened his mouth before closing it again. “Choose your next words carefully, Damey.”  I smiled as sweetly as I could manage. Damey was something I had called him ever since I could speak because Damien was too much of a mouthful.

I was waiting for Damien to insult me, to become the disappointment of the day but he surprised me. I had forgotten what it was like to be surprised.

 “…Nothing?” Damien looked puzzled at my anger as he probably chose the best answer. He always does this and I always forgive him. Not this time.

I glared at him. “You are no longer worth my time.” Damien stared at me, before shaking his head and turning his back on me. He had a nerve in giving me the cold shoulder.  I flicked him in the back of the head before turning to Cassie as I began my plan to ignore my brother for the rest of eternity because he was an idiot and he deserved it. “I don’t feel like breakfast anymore.” I told Cassie whose smile then turned upside down. I no longer wanted to eat; I just wanted to get the hell out here.   “I’m just going to go.” I hoped she would let me just leave quietly. I hated it when she caused a fuss.  She hated it when I caused a fuss. Together we caused fusses that no one needed.

Cassie frowned. “You want me to come with you?” She offered, nicely even though I knew we were moments away from a non-food induced grump.

“No, I’m fine.” I lied. “I just need to get away from Damien.” This was true. “You stay here and get some breakfast; otherwise you’ll be a monster and I won’t be able to deal with you.” She grinned at me. “And we don’t want that.” I said as I thought about the last time Cassie woke up late and skipped breakfast. She ended up being whiny and had the vilest temper ever. I ended up taking her wand after she hexed my brother (he looked at her funny apparently), several frightened second years, Fred (for smiling), Scorpius (for being himself), an angry professor and me (for calling her a moose). Then I stamped on her foot and I made her swear to get breakfast everyday.  I wanted to make it an unbreakable vow but Cassie is a wimp. Our conversation went something like this;

 ‘What if I sleep over one day and miss my alarm? Then we’re both dead.’ She asked, with wide eyes.

‘We’d cross that bridge when we come to it.’ I told her smartly.

“You are an idiot.’ She stated simply. ‘We wouldn’t be able to cross any bridge; we’d be dead, therefore immobile.’

‘I suppose you’re right.’ I huffed. ‘Next time though?’

She thought about it deeply for a moment. ‘I suppose’.

That was fifth year. We have yet to make an unbreakable vow because for the moment, plain words work just as well. Plus Damien banned me from making an unbreakable vow, but it wasn’t like I actually listened to his advice at all because normally his advice is idiotic and will only lead to everything getting ten times worse.

“Okay, Pippa.” Cassie smiled. “See you in Potions.” She got up to head to the Slytherin table and I got up to leave.

I strolled out the door, cursing my brother underneath my breath to an oblivion. I would have to figure out some way to annoy him. Damien hadn’t even bothered to say thank you for talking to Rose Lollipop Weasley. I think that’s what annoyed me the most. Damien just always takes while never giving anything back. It was a flaw of his I had still yet to accept.

I crashed into some hefty person who sent me spiralling to the floor. I hissed as I felt the floor scrap my elbow. I glanced at it quickly, it was bleeding. My face curled up in anger as I looked up to the person who had knocked me down.

Albus Potter.

That’s just typical.

“Sor-” He started but then noticed who he had knocked over and just stopped talking. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow. 

“What the hell Potter?” I yelled at him, as I scraped myself off the floor as gracefully as I could manage. “You are a clumsy oaf!”

Albus frowned. “You’re the one who walked into me you twat.”

“I don’t think that is what happened.” Although I couldn’t be quite sure because I wasn’t really paying attention. “And you’re so fat…” That was a blatant lie and I think Albus knew that because he just sniggered.  “I mean, look at my elbow” I shoved my bloody elbow in his face. He didn’t even look disgusted, this boy was pure steel.

“You’ve cut it.” Albus replied blankly. “That’s…nice?”

“Nice?!” I yelled angrily. “If it scar’s, I’m suing!”

“Do you even know what suing is?” Albus asked sardonically.

I thought about it. “No, I don’t but Cassie talked about it once and I gathered it was a bad thing. So ha!”

“Oh, Nott, you are an idiot.” He ran his fingers through his hair as he stepped closer to me. He was almost close enough to touch. I took a small step back automatically but I could still smell him, that musk with a hint of cologne.  “It’s actually laughable.” I glared at him as he learned forward to tuck a piece of my hair behind my ear that always fell in front of my face. “You act like this little Slytherin who belongs here, but you truly don’t, in fact, I think you’re a Hufflepuff.”

I felt offended. “Your sister is in Huffepuff.”

Albus shrugged. “How did you end up in Slytherin anyway? You’re too stupid to be cunning and you’re failing a lot of classes, so ambition must be low on the list too.” He was teasing me. He was trying to annoy me and it was working.

“I’ll show you why I’m in Slytherin, Potter.” I told him, trying hard to contain my explosive anger. “You’re going to have to watch your back.” He thought he knew me? He needed think again.

Albus rolled his eyes. “Bring it.” He then turned around and strolled into the great hall, leaving me in the hallway.

I will get him back. I will destroy him. I believed that we all had light and dark inside us, but the dark was winning at the moment and it had been for a while.

Then a plan started forming in my head and it was genius.  I was going to join to the quidditch team. Albus loved quidditch, it was his thing. He had been Captain since his fifth year. I wasn’t planning on joining the quidditch team to make myself wonderful and popular. No, I was going to destroy it from the inside. I needed to get on the team of course, which meant I had to learn how to play quidditch. I had only played once in an unofficial game, it involved me, Scorpius and Damien. Scorpius was violently sick, I fell off my broom trying to dodge the falling sick and Damien came close to beating us to death with his broom. It wasn’t a great attempt at the ‘beautiful’ game but I didn’t think quidditch was that hard, I either had to chase something or catch something, all while trying to avoid an early death by bludgers.

It was decided, I was going to become the new Slytherin Seeker.

I had chosen seeker because catching the snitch gave the team one hundred and fifty points.  That pretty much means whoever team catches it wins. So, I would let the other team seeker catch the snitch thus resulting in Slytherins loss. I would get away with this about two times until Albus kicked me off the team, maybe longer if I looked like I actually was trying. And I could do trying. Trying was easy, succeeding was the bitch.

Of course, this plan had flaws; first I needed to get rid of the current seeker, which I didn’t think would be that difficult. I just have to find out who it is; I should stop zoning out when Cassie talks about quidditch. Then I had to get myself on the team, which could be hard considering Potter doesn’t like me and all. But I was determined. This was going to happen. It wouldn’t just stay in my imagination, it would become reality.

Of course, Albus wouldn’t only be the casualty in this plan. Cassie was on the team and she would be angry with me if she found out what I was going to do. This is why I wouldn’t tell her. Even if she did find out, I was certain she wouldn’t stay mad at me for long. She never could.  I would have to fine tune my acting skills of course. I had garnered a few through the years, I could cry crocodile tears on command but I can never cry about the things that hurt me. Tears were only good for manipulation. I also had my ‘doe’ eyes as Damien calls them.  The look that so far has pretty much allowed me to get my own way or get out of trouble after the plans I mastermind go wrong. I thank my mom and dad for some semi-decent genes. I’ll just ignore the shortness, that I look a tad weedy, small ears, the fact my hair gets frizzy when it rains and I go cross-eyed if I stare at something for too long. That’s right, just focus on the good things.

I was a champion.  I was a winner and it was time I showed this to Albus; Nott’s do not take anything lying down.

He wasn’t going to know what had hit him. Even though my wrath shouldn’t be a surprise, especially to him.

It’s time to learn your lesson Albus Potter.


 







Next Time On The Human Factor

 

For the first year of our estrangement, I missed her.  For the second year of our estrangement, I hated her. Now, it was the third year of our estrangement and I didn’t feel anything towards her. She would always own a small part of my heart but I was okay with that. While she was my friend, she was a good one. So I felt like she deserved that part of my heart. It wasn’t like the part she owned was active. It was the dead, wasteland part. It was a no go area, proceed with caution.

I wanted to say many things to her, but the words that were worth saying frightened me.  Perhaps if I had said the words that were on the tip of my tongue then we maybe, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation, careless chatter instead of heavy silence.


Chapter 5: The One Where The Plan Is Put Into Action
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter. If I did, I’d be chilling in my pool as I demolish haribo and ice cream. I do own Pippa though, but she's a bit of a mess so it makes no sense that anyone would want her.

Authors Note: Hello! How are you all? I hope you’re all okay. And here we are with chapter five! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story so far. It’s so enjoyable to write, I know Pippa and co are not the nicest people, but there is so much room to grow. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and I hope you will stick with me. This chapter took a while to write because I’ve been rather busy but I’m on holidays from college which is the best. I have nothing to do and this makes me happy. Other than that bundle of college work but I can ignore that.

Thanks for all the support I’m getting so far! It means a lot to me.

Please review and tell me what you think. They are Pippa’s brain juice. Plus, I love to hear what you think of Emilie! Actually, I’d love to hear what you think of all the characters. I know there are a lot of characters being introduced but I just need to set up everything so the story can begin properly.  I’m excited for the next chapter, it’s when we meet him. He is a big part of Pippa’s past. Things you think will happen in future chapters are always fun to read. Albus also isn’t in this chapter, again, oups. He is in the next one though. Hopefully the next update should go out soon.

Thanks so much for
StEpH_M for being my beta. 


 

 

 




Chapter Five-
The One Where The Plan Is Put Into Action


 


Amazing chapter image by Draco_Luva


“And I want a lock of his hair, so I can attempt to clone him.” Lily Potter







“Cassie.” I called her as I drew a picture of a squid on a piece of paper.  Cassie and I were relaxing in the common room. Well, I was relaxing; she was glaring at her pile of homework. I had offered to throw her homework in the fire for her but she declined. Well, if asking ‘Are you on drugs Pippa?’ is classed as declining of course. I don’t even know what ‘drugs’ are. Stupid Cassie and huge crappy knowledge of all Muggle things. “Hello! Earth to Cassie!” I waved my hands in front of her face to try to get her attention.

She turned to me blankly clearly uninterested. “What do you want?” She asked a little snappily as she chewed her nails. I wish she wouldn’t. She has germs on her hand and thus is ingesting all these germs, everyday.  So, in all reality, I’m just hanging around with one big fat germ, full of diseases that are lying low until the perfect moment to attack me and kill me. I have tried to explain this to Cassie, but she just told me that I needed to get a grip on life. I then sprayed her with sanitising spray and she put me in a headlock that I swear almost broke my neck. It was bad times.

“You know the Quidditch try outs?” My appetite for destruction needed feeding. I felt both proud and disgusted with myself.  The emotions sat side by side. The scales kept tipping and I could no longer decide which one was stronger. It changed every second and Cassie’s eyes were hard to look into.  I wasn’t sure why.

Cassie rolled her eyes. “Of course, I am on the team you know.” She shook her head like I was an idiot.

I decided to ignore her grumpiness. I mean, it was only homework, she needed to chill out. “When are they?” I blinked innocently.

Cassie eyed me suspiciously. “They are in two and half weeks.” Cassie’s eyes narrowed as she stared me down. My stomach flipped. “Why do you want to know? You’re not planning anything are you?”

I shrugged casually like I wasn’t an evil genius mastermind. I couldn’t tell her about my plan, she wouldn’t understand. “No, nothing like that it’s just I’m thinking about taking up Quidditch.” I gave her my best sweet smile.

Cassie raised her eyebrows. “You playing quidditch?” She snorted at the mental image. “That is something I’d like to see. You’d be on your broom chilling, then a speck of dirt would hit you and you’d have a nervous breakdown.” I couldn’t deny it. It was true but I did my best to look deeply offended. “But whatever, this new development has me interested so it’s best not to question it.” She grinned at me.

“I’m so grateful for your support.” I huffed as I folded my arms across my chest. “You don’t believe in my dreams!” I cried out dramatically. A bit too loudly because people looked at me like I was weird. I hissed at them like I was a rabid animal.  People rolled their eyes and turned away from us. That’s right, people, just pretend you’re not scared, I know that deep down inside, you’re all quivering wrecks. You just hide it so well…I’ll hex them while they sleep later. Or I’ll set my unicorn on them. After my dad actually finds one, that is. I asked him for a unicorn at the age of four and twelve years later, I still have no unicorn. I wanted to feed it grapes and brush it’s hair.

Cassie snorted. “Okay, sweetie.” She breathed in heavily, trying to prepare herself to be a supportive friend. “I’m so excited for you for try out for the team!” She squealed. A fake squeal but a squeal never the less. “We’ll have so much fun! Running laps together! We can talk and catch up.”  She paused for a moment. “It’s not like we do that every day anyway because I tell you everything.” I cringed inwardly but there was a smile on my face. “What position do you want to play? We have a space for a keeper and a chaser, I think. Unless anyone else has quit on us.” She pondered the thought. “It has happened before because Potter is pretty hard on us. He only became Captain last year and the power has driven him crazy.” Cassie laughed at something but I didn’t understand what it was. Perhaps I would find out when I got a place on the team. If I ever did.

“I want to play Seeker.” I announced.

“Seeker? We already have a seeker.” She told me as she pondered her thoughts. “I can’t think of what position you would be good at.” She snapped her fingers. “I know! You’re good at being that person sitting in the stalls!”

“I do make a good audience member.” I said proudly.

“Except you won’t hold any banners telling me I’m amazing.  In fact no one would really know that you were a Slytherin except for the little sneer you’ve got going on and the fact that you are angry towards the world.” She jabbed me in the forehead. “You have no sense of house loyalty.”

“Of course I don’t.” I mocked. “I’m not a Gryffindor.”

Cassie laughed. “Thank merlin for that.”

“Anyway, I want to be a seeker!”

“Then start making miracles because Emmett isn’t shifting off the team.  He loves the game. I mean, he’s the sort of boy who practices when we're not around.”

“He needs a hobby.”

“Quidditch is a hobby.” Cassie smirked. “He needs a girlfriend.”

I thought about it for a moment. It made perfect sense, I mean, a girlfriend was an excellent distraction and love makes fools out of us all. If this said girlfriend asked him to give up quidditch, he would, if he loved her of course. “What’s this Emmett like?”

“He’s a forth year who is sort of cute, I guess. A little bit goofy once he starts talking, he once shared my drink, after I told him I was perfectly healthy of course.” Cassie shrugged. “But like I said, he just needs a few more things to focus his attention on.”

The ideas flooded my brain. I may have just thought of the perfect girl for him. Or at least a girl I could convince to go on a date with him or at least distract him for half an hour so I could show my amazing skills. That I need to fine tune, I have yet to get on a broom. “I think I have a plan.” I told her. “I’ll be back later.” I stared to walk away.

“Pippa, where are you going?” She called after me but I didn’t turn around. “Pippa, get your ass back here before I’ll hunt you down.” She threatened. “Don’t ignore me! Pippa!”

I ran up the stairs into the dormitory. It wasn’t empty like I thought it would be. She was here.

Emilie Zabini was sitting legs crossed writing a letter. I could feel the breath hitch in my throat and my palms felt sweaty.

She was a girl with a complicated past, an insane family and a taste that was expensive. Her grandmother was a serious murderess, but you’re not allowed to say that out loud as it has never been proven. It’s just a rumour that’s true. Arrogance flowed through her veins and came across in everything she did. Apparently it was inherited as her father had this quality. I had gathered this from the stories my father told me to soothe me to sleep. Emile was physically beautiful but her personality made her ugly to me.  What she doesn’t realize is that beauty is only skin deep, it’s ugliness that goes right to the bone.

Emilie was once my best friend, along with Cassie.  It was us three. Until we each saw each other as the people we really were. It was bliss until everything was shattered and the shards couldn’t be attempted put back together. Too sharp, too dangerous, too much blood was spilled.  Before everything, we were three simple girls, now look at us. We were a little too fragile and a little too weak. We were surviving though and that was a skill in itself.  Maybe we were even happier.

For the first year of our estrangement, I missed her.  For the second year of our estrangement, I hated her. Now, it was the third year of our estrangement and I didn’t feel anything towards her. She would always own a small part of my heart but I was okay with that. While she was my friend, she was a good one. So I felt like she deserved that part of my heart. It wasn’t like the part she owned was active. It was the dead, wasteland part. It was a no go area, proceed with caution.

I wanted to say many things to her, but the words that were worth saying frightened me.  Perhaps if I had said the words that were on the tip of my tongue then we maybe, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation, careless words instead of heavy silence. I took in a deep breath.

This girl told me she cared, that it would be us three forever, she would never leave and I could always rely on her. It turns out she was a liar and a pretty damn good one at that.  She fooled me. She even fooled Cassie and she has issues with trusting people. People thought she trusted them but she didn’t but more often than not, her judgement was spot on, but Emilie deceived us all.  In my story, she was the evil, manipulative witch who broke something in us but in hers, I was the sadistic, crazy witch who destroyed us. It’s amazing how two people could take the same story and make them completely different. If I closed my eyes, I can replay that moment we broke like yesterday.

I should have never trusted the pretty girl with the ugliest secret.

Emilie didn’t even look at me. I shrugged. If that is how she wanted to play it then I was game.  She carried on writing her letter in her neat cursive handwriting. My own handwriting was scatty and messy. It was another thing she was better at.

Not that anyone was keeping count.

I went to my corner and grabbed a pink sparkly bag that Cassie brought me for a joke. I always found my things easy because I organized everything. Then I organized it again. It had its perks and its disadvantages. An advantage was that I knew where everything was and if someone had touched my stuff or taken anything. Disadvantage was that I got obsessed and I couldn’t decide what order was best. So many ways to organize things and not enough time to try them all.  I gave Emilie one last look. She was still writing. My presence meant nothing to her.

I shot her a weak glare as I straightened my sheets slightly until they looked perfect. I then quietly slipped out of the dormitory. I ran through the common room, I winked at Cassie who was talking to Scorpius.

“What is she doing?” Scorpius asked, as he looked at me strangely.  He was eating a bag of crisps. I hope he doesn’t complain that they have scratched his throat like last time.

“She’s doing something stupid of course.” Cassie responded.  "It is Pippa were talking about here."

"That's very true." Scorpius nodded. "Pippa’s an idiot."

I swore at them as I ran out of the common room. I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to show how annoying they could be. If mom saw me swearing in such a Muggle manner she’d laugh, tell me not do it again and remind me how I was pureblood and above the rest. Sometimes I worry that my parents will develop a problem of me being friends with a Muggleborn.  My parents have never showed it outwardly but sometimes, I know they're thinking something wrong. Old habits die hard.

I walked quickly towards the kitchens. I was searching for the Hufflepuff common room. Yes, I was searching for the one and only Lily Potter. She was the girl who didn’t have an ounce of sanity, a naïve way of looking at things and she had crimson shoulder length hair. It was dyed to get the brighter colour but she had carried the look for so long that everyone had forgotten that it wasn’t entirely natural. I had only had a few interactions with her, all of them involving Damien in some way. She wanted to know what he was like when he was little; a little bit of an idiot, what he was like when we were growing up; a bigger idiot and what he was like now; a complete huge and utter idiot.

I was hovering outside the kitchens. I look like a weird stalker. 

“Oi you!” I yelled soon as I spotted a person from Hufflepuff. The girl just raised her eyebrow at me. Alright, maybe I was a little rude. I should always use my manners that were drummed into me since I was little but I still managed to forget them most of the time. It was like that time I burped in James Potter’s face when he came around ours for dinner. I got scolded for being unladylike but James found it hilarious and said it smelt like banana milkshake. “Hello!” I introduced myself to the random girl. “I’m Pippa Nott. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” I almost wanted to vomit about the fact that I was being charming. See? I could totally be nice. “I just wanted to know if you could find Lily Potter for me and bring here to see me?” The girl eyed me. “Don’t worry; I don’t want to eat her or anything weird like that.” I gave her my uncomfortable smile. “Pretty please?” She would have to do this for me, she was in Hufflepuff. Being nice was their thing.

She eyed me up and down. “Okay…I guess.” I grin wickedly at her. Things were falling to place. “On one condition though.”

I shrugged, “Name it?”

“You never speak to me again.” She stared at me with a look that was a mixture of fear and annoyance.

“Deal! You seem boring anyway.” She glared at me but walked off.  I wasn’t sure what I had done to offend her.

So, I waited there for at least five minutes until Lily appeared. No name girl had actually done what I asked. I would now pretend that I had never met her just like she asked. Unless of course, I ever needed her again.

Lily grinned happily at me. “Pippa! It’s strange to hear from you! I mean you hardly talk to me ever so I’m really surprised but it’s lovely! I thought you didn’t like me considering I stalk your brother and everything. He’s just so fit.” Lily sighed dreamily before she hugged me. Lily was hugging me. She was squishing my ribs. I didn’t hug her back; my arms just lay there by my side limply. She let go and her caramel coloured eyes stared at me with childish glee.  I would have to take a long bath later, Lily may look physically healthy but you never know. “What can I help you with my future sister in law?” She grinned and I managed to keep the shocked expression off my face.

“Let’s walk.” I said as I started to stroll. Lily followed me. “I need you to help me out, a favour of some sort.” Lily nodded. She was so naïve, I almost felt bad for a single moment. But who knows, maybe she’d fall in love with Emmett and they were supposed to spend forever together. It could be true love! I snorted, as if that actually existed. Love only existed to hurt. Or at least the people who I had ever loved used it that way. “I really want to play Quidditch.”  Lily blinked at me weirdly so I thought it was time to start lying. I didn’t like it but it needed to be done. “I feel quite distant from Damien at the moment and Damien loves quidditch. I thought I’d take it up so Damien could teach me and we could spend time together. You know, become as close as we used to be.”

“That’s completely understandable Pippa.” I think so too Lily. “Where do I come into this?” She chewed on her bubble gum. She blew a bubble and it exploded on her face. She picked if off ungracefully and stuffed it all back in her mouth. I was in the presence of a proper lady.

“Well…the position I want to play is seeker and there is already a seeker on our team. I was just wondering whether you’d go on a date with Emmett from our team and make him miss the try outs. The try outs are in two and a half weeks.  I think it would make my brother happy if I was able to get on the team.” Lily scrunched up her face. “I think you’d really like him.” I’ve never met the boy. “Of course, I don’t expect you to do this for free.” Lily perked up as I held up my pink sparkly bag. “I have a bunch of Damien things I have stolen over the years in this bag. You can help yourself if you go on one date with this boy. One date.”

“Okay, I’ll do it for you, my future sister in law.” Lily grinned happily as I passed the bag to her. “I mean, Damien takes what you say very seriously so I want you to like me.” Lily had just shown me how much she knows Damien; he doesn’t take anything I say to heart. His gift is ignoring all the advice I offer. Lily hummed happily to herself. “Just one date? I can do that and arrange that they clash with the try outs, I can do that too. But won’t Emmett be sad that he’ll miss the quidditch try outs?”

“Nah, I heard him talking about how he wants to give it up and find love or something like that.” I told her. I had never heard him speak. I didn’t actually know who Emmett was.

“Okay then. I’ll find him and I’ll ask him out.”  Lily was rummaging through the bag.

“I can also rob some items of clothing for you and maybe I could snip a lock of his hair off or something.” Lily’s eyes lit up. “I mean, whatever you want.”

“Well, I’ll take this piece of paper.” She took it from the bag, it was a picture of a smiley llama that Damien had drew me when I was eight years old and I was sick. “And I want a lock of his hair, so I can attempt to clone him.” Lily had the dreamy look in her eyes again.

“Okay!” I told her. I wasn’t sure what ‘cloning’ was but it sounded psycho.  “If I get my try out, you get a piece of his hair.” That means I’ll have to break into the Gryffindor dormitory again. It was hell first time and it’s not exactly easy.

Lily checked her dainty watch. It didn’t give me the same watch envy that Albus’ did. “It is dinner time, do you want to walk together?”

“Sure.”

That’s how I ended up strolling with Lily. I could see that we were getting weird looks. A Hufflepuff and a Slytherin, walking together like we were friends. And the fact that she was Lily Potter and everything she did got scrutinized. Now she was hanging out with a person with Death Eater connections. Lily gets more like her brother everyday. Haha.

We entered the great hall. I looked around, Cassie wasn’t here yet and neither was Scorpius but Damien was.  I was going to ask him to teach me how to play quidditch. He was currently talking to James and Fred.

“See you later Lily.”

“Bye Pippa.” She strolled to her own table and was suddenly surrounded by a lot people. Oh, to be young and popular!

“Hi.” I sat down on the Gryffindor table. I was spending so much time at this table that I should basically make this my new home. 

“I didn’t know you were friends with my sister.” James commented.

I shrugged. “There are a lot of things you don’t know about me.” I winked James shook his head laughing. “Damien I need you to help me.” I don’t mess around.

Damien stared at me like I was the devils incarnate. “You’re asking for help?” I nodded. “What do you want?”

“I need you to teach me how to play quidditch!”

“Sorry, I’m busy with my own team.” He shot me down immediately.

“Please?”

“I’m quidditch captain, I don’t have time to teach you quidditch. You suck at quidditch anyway. I didn’t even know that you even liked quidditch.”

“Well, I do and I need someone to teach me game!”

“No.”

“Damn you fool!” I yelled at him. I eyed James. “James, will you teach me?”

“Pippa.” He breathed. “I may just be the worst player in the whole history of quidditch. You don’t want tips from me. I tried getting on a broom yesterday and I fell off. Plus, I’m not really a fan.”

“That’s because you’re bad at it.” Fred smirked.

“True.” James laughed.

“Pippa, I’ll teach you quidditch.” Fred offered. “Meet me at the pitch tomorrow morning at eight.”

The plan was in action. I felt giddy, scared and excited. All at once. I think I’m going to throw up.

Breathe Pippa.

Just breathe.

 

 

 









Next Time On The Human Factor

I was a fool; I think I was in love.

I often thought I was in a different world when I was with him; the world was brighter and better. The birds sang and nothing was impossible. But I was stupid, I was blinded. The world didn’t change it was just the same old bitter world who enjoyed messing with me. I was a different person with him, I was a fake and I wasn’t me. He would never have loved the real me. I thought that maybe he could, but when I revealed the disappointment that is me, he said good bye.

He told me I was his reason for living. He lied because he’s surviving without me. He said he was happy to have me in his life then he proceeded to kick me out of it. He said he’d never break my heart, but stamped on it until it stopped.  He said he would always be here for me, but where is he now? He told me always and forever and I believed him. He didn’t mean it. He didn’t mean anything he said.
 
 


Chapter 6: The One Where Everyone Has Issues
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter. I wish I did. I’d be rich.

Authors Note: Hi. How are we all today? Good I hope?  Here we are at number six! Thanks so much for your support so far, it means a lot to me and it’s the reason I stop being lazy and just write the chapters.

Sorry this update was a bit slow. Hopefully college gets better and I get more free time. Something amazing happened, I got made a validator at HPFF!  I’m really loving it so far.

Please tell me what you think! I’d love to hear it.

This chapter uses quite a bit of bad language, please don’t read if offended.

Thanks so much for StEpH_M for being my beta.

 







Chapter Six-
The One Where Everyone Has Issues



Amazing Chapter Image By Smile @TDA

“I don’t want your future ugly first born." - Pippa Nott






The sun glittered on my skin as I lay on the grass. He smiled at me as he tucked the strand of my hair that always fell in front of my face behind my ear.

“Pippa.” He breathed. I loved the way he spoke my name, he made it sound like a piece of poetry. “We need to talk.” I felt like I had been stabbed in the gut as I waited. He stared into my eyes, he was a master at torture. “You need more sleep. You look tired.”

“Why sleep when I actually like reality?”

“Sleep isn’t an option Pippa, it’s actually needed.” He ran his hair through his fingers as I looked at him with an innocent smile.

Love me, Love me, Love me.

“I’ll work on it.” I replied, giving in. It wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t sleep. “Is there anything else you need to talk about?”

“I don’t know where to begin.”

I kissed him. His kisses were like my drug that I wasn’t planning on giving up any time soon. I craved them, I needed them. He kissed me back with full force as he wrapped his hands around my waist. I smirked against his lips, he still wanted me. I still had the same affect on him as the first time. It wasn’t over yet. He wouldn’t leave me.

“I don’t know what to do.” He muttered softly as his fingers trailed my face.

“Just shut up.” I whispered before placing my lips against his as I stroked my hand up and down his back.

“Okay.” He whispered before kissing me.

Although everything was alright for now, I couldn’t shake the sickness inside my stomach.

 

I woke up startled and drenched in sweat. I had dreamt of him.

Him. Him. Him.                                                                            

I had cursed myself, I should never have let myself fall asleep because he plagued my nightmares.  He was the reason I was afraid of sleeping because every time I closed my eyes, he would be there with that aloof smile of his. His eyes bright and full of life. It was before everything was ruined.

It was simple, one day he was there, the next he wasn’t. He left and he exploded my world into little bits. I didn’t understand it then and I’m not closer to understanding now. One minute he loved me, the next he didn’t. He told me I was a professional at self destruction and ruining things. I told him he was perfect. He said he couldn’t fix me, I told him he was the only thing keeping me together.

I was a fool; I think I was in love.

I slipped out of my bed and wrapped my arms around myself. Cassie was sleeping, her hair was sprawled across the bed, a small smiled played upon her lips and she was drooling slightly. It was an attractive sight. I walked into the bathroom and sat on the edge of the bath for a while as I ran my fingers through my hair in frustration. I tried to shut down my thoughts but they flooded my brain.

I often thought I was in a different world when I was with him; the world was brighter and better. The birds sang and nothing was impossible. But I was stupid, I was blinded. The world didn’t change it was just the same old bitter world who enjoyed messing with me. I was a different person with him, I was fake and I wasn’t me. He would never have loved the real me. I thought that maybe he could, but when I revealed the disappointment that is me, he said good bye.  I tried to be perfect for him, I failed.

I walked over to the sink and turned on the tap as I looked at myself in the mirror. My hair was static. It needed a good brushing. My skin was pale and I needed several years of sleep. He always did have this ability to make everything seem shittier than it was. I turned the tap off and splashed my face.

He told me I was his reason for living. He lied because he’s surviving without me. He said he was happy to have me in his life then he proceeded to kick me out of it. He said he’d never break my heart, but stamped on it until it stopped.  He said he would always be here for me, but where is he now? He told me always and forever and I believed him. He didn’t mean it. He didn’t mean anything he said.

Love was supposed to be a game but we all couldn’t win. I was a loser. I would never win at this game called love. So I have given up on it, given up on it all.

People are people, sometimes it doesn’t work out. People clash and people hurt each other.  Sometimes love isn’t enough, especially a love that isn’t real in the first place.

He broke something inside of me and it took a long time to put myself back together. Those were the days I slept a lot. These are the days where I don’t sleep at all. Cassie helped to stitch me back together. If I didn’t have her, I would have gone crazy.

I splashed my face cold water again. I breathed it. It was okay. I would be okay. He was my past and I had to focus on the future. I wouldn’t allow myself to think of him.

I could do this.

I pulled the plug on the sink and I watched the water drain. I wouldn’t allow this to mess with my head. I tiptoed across the room, grabbed the clothes I had laid out the night before and went to the bathroom to get ready.

Once I was ready, I quietly slipped out of the dormitory. I didn’t want to wake anyone up as it was Sunday, so everyone slept in. I didn’t know why I worried, all the people in my dormitory slept like the dead. I stuffed my wand in my pocket for emergencies.

I walked down the stairs, humming to myself. Today, I was going to learn how to play Quidditch. It would be a good day. Hopefully, I’ll find that I suddenly have skills and I don’t completely suck.

That’s the dream anyway. No harm with having a dream.

I strolled into the common room and I subconsciously glanced around to see if anyone was in there because I always liked to know what I was dealing with. I heard some soft breathing as I investigated. I found the person quickly, considering I am a super sleuth and the common room isn’t that big.

Albus Potter.

I stared at him. Unlike last time, his sleep was peaceful. He was casually sprawled on the sofa without a care in the world. I frowned at him as the grumpiness of the morning kicked in. I pointed my wand towards the boy as I muttered a spell quietly. I smirked, staring at my work.

The day had started to look up.

Crap! I thought as something came to me. I had forgot to write Cassie a note telling her I where I was going. Cassie likes to know where I am. Otherwise she starts to panic that I have succumbed to an early demise. I ran up to the dorm.

“Accio quill and paper!” I muttered as soon as I entered the dorm. The quill and paper flew towards me. I put my wand down on the bed and I scribbled a note.

C -

I’m learning how to play Quidditch, I’m at the pitch if you need me. Don’t touch my stuff, I’ll know if you have.

-          P

I stuffed it in her sleeping hand and ran out of the room.

I arrived at the pitch at half eight. I was late, I always was. I was a control freak who didn’t quite get the concept of time. I had never been early for anything. It was one aspect of my personality that seemed to grate on people but it wasn’t like I hadn’t tried to destroy this part of me. I had left places really early to actually get there on times only to find I ended up lost or I got distracted like that time I spent an hour in a field crushing flowers because Damien had upset me that morning. My penchant for lateness was who I was but that didn’t mean I liked it. My stomach would always be tied in death hold knots as I strolled up to the person I was meant to be meeting. The familiar look of disappointment would always be there, grinning and taunting me.

“Pippa, you’re late.” Fred remarked. I scanned him for anger but I found none. “But I knew you would be. Damien says you couldn’t be on time if it was to save your life.” A small smile perched itself upon my lips. I didn’t know why.  “He said you’d be at least an hour late but you’re only half an hour. I’m proud of you Pippa.”  He brushed his fingers through his dark hair.

“Thanks.” I pulled a bobble off my wrist and tied my hair up into a ponytail. I figured flying would be hard when the wind had turned your hair into Medusa’s snakes. I didn’t want my own hair whipping me in my face. I could lose an eye. It wouldn’t be a great look. “I think I should warn you, I’m a lousy at flying.”

Fred looked confused for a single moment before he blinked it away.  “Why do you want to learn how to fly Pippa?”

“Because certain people need to learn their lesson.” I muttered. Oh crap. I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone.  I wished the ground would swallow me up in a giant whole and never let me out again. I coughed. “Only joking, I like toffee.” I told him as he raised his eye brow. Toffee? I like toffee? That was the best thing my brain could have thought of in those single moments? Toffee? I don’t even like toffee. I’m more of a fudge girl. Toffee takes too long to eat and it hurts my jaw. “What I actually mean is I’m a little bit sleep deprived so ignore the garbage that is coming out of my mouth.” Ah! Brain, you’re back. It’s nice to see you again. I’ve missed you, please don’t leave me again, I’m needy.

“Yeah, I can tell.” He smirked as he eyed me.

I frowned. “Are you telling me I look like utter crap Fred Weasley?” I had used his full name. He just got owned. I would sell him and get enough money for a bar of chocolate. Oh! I could just imagine it now. Maybe Fred was even worth two bars of chocolate. Now that would be heaven. Two whole bars of chocolate just for one whimsical boy? Sounds like a good deal to me.

“Erm.” Fred stuttered as I gave him my first prized death glare. “What I meant to say was that you look tired...” I just stared at him. “Not that you aren’t nice looking or anything like that, well…when you smile you are…your frown sort of scares me…no offence…erm…it’s not like it’s not a nice frown or anything like that erm-“

“-Fred.” I interrupted.

“Yes?” He gulped.

“Shut the hell up.” I smiled sweetly. “Or prepare to die.”

“Got it.” He nodded smiling to himself. “Even though, if we were to fight, you’d lose.”  He was taller, broader than me, but so was that chunky tree in the distance.

“The only weapons I have are words.” I sniggered. “That and my brilliant mind which is full of cunning plans.” Fred snorted. I glared at him, he shrugged. “I have plans Fred, just you wait. You’ll see.” Then I cackled. Oh my god. I just cackled like a witch! Ah crap! I am a witch. I meant cackled like a story book witch. You know the cliché ones with moles on the end of a hook nose and green skin? Plus they are always slightly bitter and always old. My mom once told me bitterness came with age because you stopped being able to see the things you could before. Life has a habit of wearing you down unless you find happiness in misery.

“Did you cackle?” Fred asked with raised eyebrows.

“No.”

“I swear you just did. “

“No, I didn’t.” I denied. “It never happened.”

“Alright, you weirdo, you didn’t.” Fred paused. “But you so did.” He grinned at me before laughing.  “You cackle! It was so funny, please do it again, I’ll give you money, my first born, anything you want!”

“I don’t want your future ugly first born.”  I folded my arms across my chest grumpily.  

“My first born wouldn’t be ugly with me as its father.”

“I beg to differ you fool!”

“Oh, rush me to the burn unit!” Fred clutched his heart as if he was in deep pain. “That cut deep, Pippa. I don’t know whether I can go on living with this knowledge; that you think I’m a fool.” Then Fred fell to the floor and lay there for a while. “If you haven’t realized, this is me dead on the floor.” He then pulled a weird looking dead face. I pity the fool who dies looking like that. I hope I’m frowning, I want to be like I was in life; a grumpy git. I just stared at Fred. “Dude! Don’t you care that I’m dead? It’s your fault! You broke my heart and I simply couldn’t continue living.”

“You’re a big drama queen.”  I poked his leg with my foot. “And I have news for you, sweetie; the dead don’t speak.”

“Then I’m a zombie, baby.”

“Don’t baby me.” I warned him.

“Don’t sweetie me.” He smirked.

“You’re so funny sweetie.”  I mocked him.

“Oh baby, if you weren’t the one, I’d left by now.”  He smirked. “I invented this game Pippa, you won’t win.”

The game was simple, whoever freaked out first lost. I freaked out about a lot of things but I could handle vomit inducing words against me. I mean, my mother calls me her little pip.

“Pumpkin, why are you so bitter?”

“Because of you my cuddle bug, you’ve driven me to insanity.”

“Oh honey, I can change!”

He sat up. “You said that the last time princess.” He wiped fake tears from his eyes. “But you lied didn’t you?”

I pouted. “I’ll try for you, give me a chance darling!” I held out my hand. He took it but pulled me down with him. Fred had just pulled me onto the grass; I was going to kill him. It was slightly muddy and I was going to get grass stains. Grass stains are a bitch to get out. I had them on my knees and elbows because I hadn’t fallen down gracefully. My life is over. Fred was a lot cleverer than I thought. I frowned, Fred couldn’t possible know about my little quirks. Before today, we had barely spoken but he put me at ease. I didn’t understand how he did it but I was becoming comfortable with him. Not comfortable enough to show I was insane, comfortable enough to show I was weird. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted another person in my life. I didn’t understand this nor did I know what was happening. This put me on edge slightly. Maybe I was overacting; perhaps Fred would never speak to me again. Perhaps I’m dreaming. I needed to clean. I scrambled up and tried to neaten myself up as I sat next to Fred on the dirty grass. I tried not to shudder as I imagined the germs crawling on my skin.

“Okay flower, but break my heart again and we’re over.”  Fred laughed. “And if you cackle again we’re over because I don’t like it.” He paused as I breathed in the air. “You know what Pippa?”

“What?”

“You’re not so bad.” He smiled softly at me.

I felt sick. I wasn’t a good person. I sighed, Fred would soon learn about the person I was and he wouldn’t like what he would see. His illusion of me would be shattered. I wasn’t the person he thought I was. Just like he wasn’t the person I thought he was.  “I’m not good Fred, I just am.”

“I think you’re too negative on yourself. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t believe in yourself.” I believed I could take down Albus Potter. I think that counts.

“Save your fucking lecture Fred. I don’t want to hear it.” The venom poured out of my mouth, attacking the boy who had only ever shown me kindness. He didn’t deserve it, I knew that but I couldn’t stop. “You don’t know anything about me so don’t try to understand because you never will.”

“Oh really?” Fred laughed. It wasn’t his kind laugh that I was used to. It was mocking. “I know that you used to be different, then shit happened. Yeah, your best friend hurt you, then your boyfriend and they both left you but-” Fred stopped suddenly. He stared at me with this knowing look. He understood. I closed my eyes for a few moments. I pushed people away because I was petrified of getting hurt again. I didn’t want anyone to get that close. I didn’t want to care about anyone. “I get it.” He sighed. “I got a little too close with a tiny compliment and now you’re freaking out. Your brother said you had some issues but this is ridiculous!” I ignored him stared at my shoes. They had mud on them, they would need cleaning later. I made a mental note to do it as soon as possible. I would make them shiny and perfect again. “Pippa, not everyone is out to screw you over. I’m only trying to be your friend; you don’t seem to have a lot of those.” He waved his hands in front of my face. “Look at me and listen.”

“No you listen.” I argued as I avoided eye contact. If I got eye contact, I would melt and become his friend. This couldn’t happen. “It’s just best if you stay away from me.” I was brilliant at pushing people away who tried to get close. I should teach a master class on it.  “I’m sorry I asked you to teach me.” This was a lie. I was enjoying myself before I felt suffocated.  “I’m only learning to screw someone else over.” I covered my mouth, I had said too much. I always say too much, I need to learn when to just shut the hell up. “Just ignore anything I say. Okay?” I panicked, as I thought about him judging me, him finding out about my beautiful plan and ruining it.

Fred opened his mouth to say something but he never got the chance.

“…What’s going on here?” Damien asked with James by his side. Damien grinned at me as I took in the situation. So, I was a little too close to Fred’s face. Yes, we were invading each others personal space but it was all innocent. I coughed at I moved away from Fred a little.

“Absolutely nothing.” I replied.

“Hmm.” Damien said, clearly not believing me.

“I complimented your sister and she went ballistic.” Fred answered. “She has issues.”

“Welcome to my world.” Damien replied as I glared at him. I did not have issues! I was a perfectly functioning person…okay, so maybe I did but doesn’t everyone?  I mean you only have to take a glance at the people in my life to show that being normal is actually odd.

I mean James kept a man-journal until he was fourteen.  He only stopped because I found it and read little abstracts over the dinner table and kept quoting my favourite lines to him.  It was basically James being a bit whiny about his hair, his insane family and the fact that he talked to his pet lizard, Crippen everyday.  He also called his man journal Cleopatra. If that’s not weird, I don’t know what is. Damien only learnt his right from left at twelve and used to own a teddy bear called Cliff.  Cassie has already name her future children and once delivered a smack down on me because I hid the ketchup. And Scorpius? I’m surprised he can get himself dressed in the morning.

“Damien, do you really want to start this game?” I told him grumpily. “Because hey, I’m your sister, I know things.” I knew today was Sunday and my name was Pippa. Everything else is up for debate.

“Okay, whatever Pippa.” Damien brushed me off. My brother has this serious problem of not taking me seriously. “So, how is the lesson going?” He asked casually, but I knew he was interested. There was probably a bet somewhere in the mix that Damien was riding on. James and Damien like making bets. It’s how the losers passed the time.

“We haven’t started yet.” Fred laughed. “Okay, to begin lets pick up the damn broom.” We stared at each other for a moment before normalcy returned. We had made a silent agreement to take ten steps back to when everything was normal. I knew I would never talk about it again, I wasn’t that sure about Fred.

I stood up and I picked up the broom. “It’s a bit heavier then I thought it would be.” I remarked as James laughed, Damien slapped his forehead and Fred just sighed. “What?” I shrugged. “It is.” I always thought they were lighter.

“Just sit on it and kick off.”

“Easier said that done.” I muttered as I sat on the broom. Thank god for cushioning charms. “So I just kick off now?” I asked, a little hesitation creeping into my voice.

“This is going to be funny.” Damien snickered.

I kicked off and I was hovering. Holy crap. This was scary. I understood why Scorpius was scared of heights. I was only about ten inches from the ground and I was almost ready to give up because I kept on having visions of me falling off and dying. I didn’t want to die. I was not ready to die. I hadn’t caused enough trouble for people yet.

“Philippia Nott!” Someone yelled which startled me so I tumbled onto the floor clumsily. All those lessons about how to be graceful was clearly a waste on me. Mum would be so disappointed.

“Ouch.” I muttered as I rubbed my hands. “Who the hell yelled because I’m going to kick their-” I didn’t finish because I was confronted with a very pissed looking Albus Potter. I quickly brushed myself off the floor.  “Hi Potter, what’s up?” I asked with a fake smile.

What’s up?” Albus hissed. “This!” He pointed to his forehead. Oh, he finally realized I had written idiot on his forehead then.

I tried to look understanding but I was finding it hard not to laugh. “Oh my gosh Potter, who did that?”

“I think you know who did it.”

I shrugged. “I actually don’t.”

Albus held up the palm of his hand. I read the writing on it, ‘love Pippa’.  Crap! I had forgotten I marked my handy work. I am so stupid at times. I belong in a house with other stupid people. I should not be allowed to converse with normal, intelligent people. I made a mental note next time to not tell my mortal enemy that it was I who drew idiot on his forehead. James, Fred and Damien all burst out laughing.

“Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?” I asked.

“Get it off now.”

“That’s not really polite now is it?” I sighed as Albus seethed.

“I mean it! I can’t get it off.”

“That’s because only Pippa can.” Damien joined in as he tried to hold in his laughter. “She’s done that to me hundreds of times, don’t worry, if she doesn’t take it off, it expires in a week.”

“A week?” Albus rubbed his idiot forehead. “That’s far too long. I need you to take it off now.”

“And why would I do a stupid thing like that?”

“Since when did you two go daggers at dawn with each other?” Damien asked, interrupting our sniping.

“Since he was a twat.”

“Since she was a bitch.”

“Oh screw you!”

“I’d rather die.”

“You’ve always been unlikable, now you’re just so ridiculously annoying that every time you speak, I lose my will to live.” I yelled at him. I actually yelled. I didn’t yell that often because I didn’t think people needed to see that they had got to me but this was something different. Hatred prickled my skin, it was like the monster that always lived inside of me was awake and was making up for lost time. Albus brought out my worst side. A side that I wish I didn’t have.

“Pippa.” My brother put his serious voice on. “Fix his damn forehead.”

“I can’t.” I hissed. “I left my wand behind.” I told him. I had left it on my bed this morning when I wrote the note to Cassie. I hope no one steals it again. It took me ages to find it last time.

“Then let’s go.” Albus grabbed my arm and began dragging me to the castle. My brother just stood there and watched. That twat wasn’t even going to come and save me! I could be murdered. It was weird, Damien was always funny about…him but he was fine with Albus kidnapping me. My brother is an oddball. 

“Un hand me you beast!” I muttered. “I won’t do it you know.” Albus said nothing but kept his grip firmly on my arm. “You can’t make me.”

Albus laughed. “Just give it up.”

“No.”

Albus shook his head with a small smile on his face.

Jerk.

We had made it inside the castle. People were giving us odd looks. I made sure to give a dirty look to everyone. I didn’t want to show favouritism.

“People are giving us weird looks.” I hissed. “I wish every move you did wasn’t scrutinized by everyone.”

“I wish that too.”

I stopped walking and he jerked.

“What the hell?” He snapped. “Come on!”

“Okay.” I said weakly.

Albus shot me one last look before he started walking again. His grip never left my arm. He seemed to know as soon as he let go, I would run. Albus had made confession number two. I really should stop speaking altogether, that way I would never learn things I didn’t want or need to know.

We walked towards the common room. Albus muttered the password before strolling inside with me being awkwardly dragged behind him. He brought me to the entrance of the girl’s dormitories. “I’ll wait here.” He told me. “If you’re not down in five minutes, I’ll send an army up there to get you.” Ah, what a gentleman.

“I’m petrified.” I rolled my eyes as I pushed past him. I hated getting up these stairs, there was too many of them. I huffed and puffed up the stairs. I needed to go running.

I weighed my options as I pushed open the door to the dormitory. Should I remove it? Or should I keep being stubborn? I picked up my wand and twirled it in my fingers. I still needed to get on the team and the captain hating me doesn’t bode well. Maybe I should beg for his forgiveness and say I was sorry? Hmm, that doesn’t sound like something I would ever lower myself to.

I decided I would just figure it out when I saw him, because time was ticking and I didn’t doubt that a crazy army was waiting in the shadows. I cursed, this was my bloody life? This was ridiculous.  I wanted a refund or an exchange.

When I got downstairs, I found myself presented with an unusual sight. Albus was talking to Emilie. Before now, I didn’t know that they even knew each other; then again, I had never really paid attention to Albus much. He got attention off everyone else, why did he need mine? Emilie was smiling at him and Albus was staring at her with his normal blank look. A look that is encrypted, you can neither tell if he’s interested or if he’s being bored to death.

Emilie spotted me first. Her dark eyes grew cold at my presence. “Nott.” She smirked. I just stared at her. Usually Emilie and I exchange no words. We were too above ourselves to argue with each other. We had too much pride. I thought I had missed the words but now I’ve got them back, I realized I actually preferred the silence. “It’s been a while, bitch face.”

“Always the pleasant one aren’t you?” I shrugged. “It obviously hasn’t been long enough.”

Emilie rolled her eyes.

I rolled my eyes.

Emilie frowned.

I frowned.

Emilie glared.

I glared.

Emilie delivered a cruel blow. “I see he has finally left you.” My composure crumpled a little. I would not break in front of Emilie. “I mean, it’s about time. He was only deluding himself when he said he loved you.” I bit my lip. “I mean, you’re nothing special and you never deserved him.” I must not break Emilie’s perfect nose. Not again anyway. “I guess things worked out in the end didn’t they?” Her eyes twinkled.

I opened my mouth to say something but I never got the chance.

“Lay off, Emilie.” Albus rolled his eyes. “I mean, did you take an extra dose of bitch this morning?”

Emile frowned and shook her head. “You’re an idiot Potter.” With that, she walked off like a puppy with her tail between her legs.

“What did you do that for?” I shouted. “I had it completely under control!”

Albus laughed. “When did you have it under control? Before or after you were going to cry?”

I gasped. “I was not going to cry!” I do not cry. Not now, not ever.

Albus rolled his eyes. “Sure, you weren’t.”

“I don’t need you to come in and save me you know, I can fight my own battles.”

“You’re doing a splendid job of it so far. You let that girl talked to you like you were crap. You just took it.” Albus shook his head. “I’m surprised, normally you’re like a bull in a china shop, crashing, destroying, not a meek little doll. You’re a girl with a big mouth.”

I pointed my wand at him and muttered the spell. In seconds his forehead was back to normal. “There!” I yelled furious. “Now go away.” I wished he would crawl into a hole and die. “And don’t go lecturing me. Since when do you stick up for strangers? You don’t give a crap about anyone but yourself.”

“I could say the same thing about you.”

“Do you know what? I don’t need this.” I ran towards the stairs. I looked at him. “Goodnight, I hope you choke in your sleep later on.” In that moment, that was the only thing I would have wished for. I was a bitter little sod, but so was Albus. I had seen a spark tonight; the anger brought the puppet to life. A little switch clicked and I was in the presence of the real Albus Potter.

I never wanted to see that person again.

Because that person made me feel something real and I hadn’t felt something like that for a while.

 









Next Time On The Human Factor

 “-You’re weird.” He blinked at me. “Anyway, my dearest favourite cousin-“

“Hey!” Damien yelled. “Favourite? I’m the favourite! I’m always the favourite.” He rambled. I think Damien has issues. It is true though, people always seem to like him the best except with Granddad Nott. He loves me because I am not a blood traitor Gryffindor. I have yet to tell him about my muggle born best friend. That can wait until hell freezes over.

“Chill, Damien.” Scorpius ordered and Damien just scowled. “Alright, my favourite female cousin-“

 


Chapter 7: The One Where Damien Isn’t The Favourite
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter because I’m not awesome like that. Everything you recognize belongs to JKR.

Authors Note: Hello everyone! How are you all? I hope you’re okay. I can’t believe we’re up to chapter seven already! I hope you’re liking the story so far and the characters. Thanks so much for the reviews, they make me smile, the favourites, they make me happy and just for reading in general, that makes you awesome.

I’d love to hear what you think of the story so far or just anything really! I hope you really enjoy this chapter; I had a blast writing it.This is a rather short chapter but it builds up to the fun things that are going to happen in chapter eight!

Thanks so much for StEpH_M for being my beta.














Chapter Seven –
The One Where Damien Isn't The Favourite




Amazing Chapter Image By RyleeAnn @TDA


“Are you sure she’s not a robot?” Cassie Holmes









When I was a little girl, Damien was the King of my world and I was his humble subject who craved his attention. According to my parents, I only learned how to walk to chase him and he would be the first person I would run to when I cut my knee. He would smooth the tears away and tell me I’d be okay in a minute. Whenever he wanted to go, I would follow. The games that we played, I would always be the sidekick, waiting to kick ass for my King, it could have been worse though, Scorpius was always the damsel in distress, at least I was the sidekick. We all played our roles perfectly, Scorpius would always fall down from the imaginary dragon, Damien would battle the dragon to the death and I would peel Scorpius off the floor. We watch from the side-lines until Damien was victorious. Then we’d cheer until it was time for dinner.

 Eventually, as I grew, I realized I had put my King on a pedestal. Small flaws began to emerge in his character, the quirks I found endearing became an irritation and he stopped doting on me. Then Damien left for Hogwarts one cold September, I remember the excitement in his eyes and I waved him off on the platform trying not to cry that I was losing my best friend because I knew we would never be the same again because Damien was changing; he was growing up and no longer wanted to be part of my world where fairy tales could come true. He came back and I was more of an annoyance than adorable like I was before. He had got a life, he had friends. He stopped having time for me and that is something that has never changed.

Eventually, it didn’t matter as much because I had created my own little family, Cassie and Emilie. Eventually I found him and the gaping hole that was created that cold September was closed. I was whole, like a proper person. Until he left and I needed my brother more than ever but Damien had stopped understanding me. His scar free perfect heart could never connect to mine that was riddled with imperfections. He tried but he could never break through the wall. No one could, except Cassie which was something that surprised me. Cassie, the person who cries when flowers die and gives them funerals, has a coffee addiction and is afraid of commitment broke through. She told me I was her ‘person’ and thus would put up with me being a ‘mopey girlie girl’. That was about as emotional as we got with each other. Some friendships thrive without words that hold so much bogging them down.  Ours is one of them. Still though, I miss the closeness me and Damien had when we were children.

Occasionally, the closeness comes back for fleeting moments. The closeness is close enough to skim your fingers on but too far away to grab it. A lot of the time though, I wonder what I ever saw in my King. I must have been deluded with naïve childish innocence.  This is one of these times when I realized my King was more of a jester. Damien is having a marshmallow face stuffing contest against James. Whoever wins gets pride apparently but I’m not that sure. Whoever wins loses a little bit of my respect more. Not that they had much to begin with.

James currently has eight in his mouth, Damien has six. Damien was trying to stuff the seventh one into his mouth but it was a struggle.

“You two make me worried for the future.” I sighed as I watched them. “I fear there may be others like you.” Damien was practically choking and James was dribbling down his chin. Geniuses they were not. Idiots they were.

Cassie took a sip of her coffee. “I think James is the winner. Fred, declare it.” Cassie found the game amusing at the beginning but she soon tired of it, just like everything else.

Fred shrugged as he thought about it. We were sitting at the Gryffindor table for breakfast because Fred is trying to continue the evolving friendship. He had called me and Cassie over to witness the ‘manliest completion ever’.  Fred coughed to clear his throat. “James is the winner; Damien must bow down because he is a complete loser.”

Both James and Damien swallowed their marshmallows. Well, they’ve moved past the stage where they talk with their mouth full. It’s lovely to see personal growth.

“Dammit.” Damien cussed. “I will win next time.”  He vowed with a clenched fist.

James rolled his eyes. “You said that last time…and the time before that.” James is awesome at stupid games.

“Oh James,” I snickered. “You have my utmost respect. I don’t think you’re a loser at all.”

“It’s just because you’re too boring to join in.” James laughed. “And the fact that you don’t want me to beat you either.”

“No, it’s the fact, that as a young woman, I have to respect myself because if I don’t respect myself, then who will respect me? And –“ I began my ‘respect yourself’ speech that I had memorized from a magazine when I was thirteen.

“-What a bunch of crap.” Fred cut in and I glared. Sure, I didn’t really feel that my speech was all that, but it made sense in some ways. My ‘I am awesome’ speech is a lot better. “Just have fun, forget about this respect! Whatever that is.”

I rolled my eyes. “Respect is-“

“-I see your lips moving but I’m not really listening.” Fred cut in again. He just wouldn’t let me finish a single sentence! …Wait? He wasn’t listening to me? I huffed. I should be listened to. I am full of win. I change the world for the better every time I speak! Cough, cough.

“You’re mean, Fred.” I crossed my arms across my chest. “I can’t believe you don’t listen to me.”

“Sweetie.” He patronized. “I don’t think you listen to you half the time.”

“Otherwise you probably wouldn’t come up with so many idiotic schemes.” Cassie smirked as took a gulp of her drink. “I mean, there must be a sensible little voice in there somewhere.” If there is, it has yet to speak. Maybe I killed it when I thought it would be funny to lick a battery, in reality, it wasn’t because I received a small shock which made my hair frizzy and I’ve never done it again because I respect my hair. I did convince Damien to do it though, just to see his face. It was hilarious. My parents were fuming.  “Take what you did to Potter.” She smiled. She loves my schemes as much as I do, it’s just she would rather not be the person doing them.  “I mean, funny? Yes. Clever? No.”

“You’re just annoyed that you don’t have the guts to do it yourself.”

“Attack a sleeping boy? Yes, I can see why that would be frightening.” Cassie did a fake shudder. “You are so brave.” She rolled her eyes. “Excuse me while I bask in your glory.” She blinked. “What’s that? Nothing is happening? Cause you suck.”

“You are great for the self esteem.”

Cassie was about to reply but the flutter of owls entering the great hall distracted her. A letter dropped in the middle of her lap, it always does because her Muggle parents miss their only child too much. She smiled softly at the letter as she opened it. To my surprise, I found two letters crash on top of my head. Owls need to learn how to aim properly. What if I was a freak who was deluded that my hair was my life? I would so be freaking out right now.

I opened one of them. It was short, weird and I didn’t get the point.

Your time is ticking.

I stared at the four words for a while I pondered their meanings. I didn’t know who would write me letters in Hogwarts. No one would. I mean, if you want to talk to me, just find me cruising in a hallway while I dusted it with my emerald green duster. So, there was no need to write me a letter. I couldn’t analyse the handwriting because I have no idea what everyone’s handwriting looks like. I shrugged as I screwed up the piece of paper and threw it at a Hufflepuff. Perfect head shot, it bounced off rather nicely. I couldn’t be bothered to think about the letter anymore, It really didn’t seem worthy of my attention. I mean I had homework to worry about! I sniggered at my own joke.

James looked at me oddly. “What are you laughing at?”

“The fact that I am hilarious.” I shook my head.

“In your own head at least.” He smirked and I stuck my tongue out at him.  He went back to reading his letter, even though he was now in the seventh year, he had maintained a close relationship with his parents through weekly letters. At least that was the outside perspective; I don’t really have much interaction with the Potters and nor would I want to. To the world, they seemed to have it all together casually. We Nott’s seemed to have it together as well but we were an uptight bunch, well all the females in my family are. I seemed to take after my mother and Damien took after my father.

I poured my attention to the other letter. It was from my father.

Pippa,

I hope you’ve been having a good time at school and I hope you are keeping on top of your school work. I don’t want any letters from school like last year about you falling behind. If you feel like you’re struggling, write to me or talk to someone you can trust. Talking to your cat does not count by the way.

I just wanted to check if you were alright, we’ve heard from your brother three times but you’ve been silent on the letter front. I miss you and so does Binksy. I hope to hear from you soon. It’s not the same around here; I can eat biscuits and not get moaned for dropping a crumb on the floor.

Love,

Dad.

Ps, your mom says she loves you too.

Ah crap! In all my confusion I’ve been having lately, I had forgotten to write to my parents to tell them I was alive and well. They always like to know that information. I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s because of this love crap they mentioned. I made a mental note to write back to my dad as soon as I remembered.

“Pippa!” Scorpius yelled out my name like a banshee. “There you are. Why are you sitting at the Gryffindor table? Have you switched houses? I didn’t even know that was possible.” He stood in front of me and suddenly became aware that I wasn’t being a loner and had friends. “Hi everyone!” He waved like an overexcited child.

A lot of people I didn’t even know greeted Scorpius.

Cassie smiled at Scorpius. “Hello.”

“What do you want?” I asked sharpish.

“I’ve come to see you.” He grinned. “You’re grumpy this morning aren’t you? You need to cheer up my little not so sunshine.”

“You need to go away. Your light burns me.”

“Stop acting like you’re full of angst.”

“Oh but I am dearest cousin of mine.” I folded my arms across my chest to make my point. “I’m a teenager; it’s what we do best but me, I’m darker than the rest.” Scorpius shook his head. “I’m so dark…I mean I think about dark things…like night, the colour black, dust-“

“-You’re weird.” He blinked at me. “Anyway, my dearest favourite cousin-“

“Hey!” Damien yelled. “Favourite? I’m the favourite! I’m always the favourite.” He rambled. I think Damien has issues. It is true though, people always seem to like him the best except with Granddad Nott. He loves me because I am not a blood traitor Gryffindor. I have yet to tell him about my muggle born best friend. That can wait until hell freezes over.

“Chill, Damien.” Scorpius ordered and Damien just scowled. “Alright, my favourite female cousin-“

“-I’m your only female cousin.”

“So?” Scorpius shrugged as he finally got to point. “I want you to accompany me to Hogsmeade later.”

I eyed him suspiciously. “Why?”

“Because,” He leaned down and whispered in my ear. “I want you to meet my girlfriend.”

“What?” I yelled. “You have a girlfriend?” Oups. I may have said that too loud. As in the whole Gryffindor table may have heard. I shouldn’t be so surprised but I was. I mean, according to Cassie, he was alright to look at and he did have a good heart I suppose. A heart that was too good. The boy needed to man up and be colder. It would be the only way he could survive in this world. I made a mental note to toughen him up one day but not today, I didn’t want to change him at this very moment. I didn’t want to break that smile on his face.

He was happy and I wouldn’t let anyone take that away from him.

“How the hell?!” Damien cussed. “How did you manage to get a girlfriend? I can’t even find one and I’m me!”

“Do us a favour and deflate your head a little will you? Otherwise you might find yourself in a world of pain and struggling to get through doors.” I told him sweetly and he glared.

Scorpius huffed. “I’m pretty-“

“-Dumb?” Damien interjected.

“-Awesome.” Scorpius finished as Damien rolled his eyes. Someone is a bit jealous and it’s not me. “Perhaps if you were born blonde and awesome, you might find yourself someone.” Scorpius gave Damien the thumbs up with a large grin. Oh my god, I have never been more embarrassed…okay, maybe I have but this is going in my top five. “And if you could do the hair flick like me.” Scorpius flicked his hair. Surprisingly, he does it with style. It’s the only thing he can do that isn’t completely embarrassing.

“Also if you worked on your personality as well, I think that would help.” I added helpfully with a grin.

“Are you sure she’s not a robot?” Cassie laughed at Scorpius.

Scorpius shook his head. “I don’t think so…I have no idea what that is.” He looked at me for help. I shrugged; I didn’t have a clue what a robot was either. Maybe it was a type of animal? Or maybe it was a brand of cheese? Mom is always bringing new types of cheese that taste like cardboard and have stupid names. “You’re going Muggle on us again.” Cassie stuck her tongue out at him.

“Well.” Fred paused. “I think it’s great!” Thank merlin for Fred actually giving support to my cousin unlike my stupid brother who just wanted to insult him.

James rolled his eyes at Damien who was sitting there grumpily. “Who is the lucky girl?” He asked as he took a sip of his drink.

“Her name is Harper O’Reilly.” Scorpius answered proudly. Fred and James gave a nod. The ‘You’ve done well Bro’ nod. Boys are weird. Meanwhile, I had never even heard of this girl. I racked my brain. Nope, I have never met a Harper in my life. Then again, I never really remember people’s names. I barely remember mine when I wake up in the morning.

“Who is she?” I whisper to Cassie.

“She’s a Hufflepuff and she’s got hair.”

“That’s very informative.” I rolled my eyes as Cassie grinned.

“So, Pippa, will you come?”  Scorpius pouted with puppy eyes. The boy was using his charms to change my iron will. It wasn’t working. Then again, I would like to meet the girl to decide whether she was good enough for my cousin.

I groaned. Did I actually just think that? Since when did I give a crap about what Scorpius got up to? I didn’t and I never will. Screw that. He can date as many girls as he wants. He can date hundreds for all I care.

“Please?”

I hummed a bit more. “Why do you want me there?”

“You’re important to me.” He stated simply.  “And she is also becoming important to me.” I raised my eyebrow, just for how long had Scorpius been keeping this secret girlfriend? “Important people should meet.”

“Okay.” I found myself giving in. I didn’t know why but I was curious. Plus, he wanted me to meet her and not Damien. That just made me smirk. “I’ll come but you have to buy me a drink.”

“Deal!” Scorpius ran up and hugged me. I froze against his touch. I just sat there limply until he let go. “I can’t wait. I’ll meet you inside the The Three Broomsticks at two.” He started to walk away but he suddenly remembered something. “Oh! Albus is coming! I’m sure you don’t mind.”

“Wait!” I yelled after my cousin but he was gone. He had skipped and everything.

Kill me now.

Just shoot me.

Drown me.

I don’t care.

Cassie sniggered. “That’ll be fun for you.”

I grabbed her coffee cup and tipped the liquid on the floor. “No, that was fun for me.”

Cassie laughed. “I can pour another cup of coffee. You meanwhile, cannot get out of this situation.”

I hate her.

Well not really.

“Just shut up.” I snapped as I thought about today. I had woken up in a good mood and now I had this dreading sense of doom building in my stomach.

Damn you, Scorpius.









The Next Time On The Human Factor

 

“Scorpius.” I tried to reason with the boy. “I’ll humour you, let’s just say that if aliens did exist, how would you know what one looked like? They could look exactly like you or I.”

Scorpius frowned. “Is this a subtle way of you confessing you’re an alien Pippa?”

Albus sniggered and I frowned.

“No, I am not a bloody alien!” I remarked, frustrated.

“That’s exactly what you’d say if you were an alien and you were trying to hard your existence. Like if a Muggle came up to me and said, hey bro, you a wizard? I’d say no wouldn’t I?”
 



Chapter 8: The One With Scorpius’ Girlfriend
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 Disclaimer: I don’t own Roswell. And I don't own Harry Potter. 

Authors Note. Hi! How are you all? Sorry this chapter has taken so long, it was a struggle to write at times but I managed to write it in the end. Persistence works out. You asked for more Albus and he is. In all his glory and changing faces. This is the longest chapter so far. It’s once again, a mixed bag in terms of emotion but that’s what makes it so fun.

I’m on summer now so updates will hopefully come a lot quicker. I’ll try at least to have updates every two weeks. I don’t know how it’ll work out.

Thanks for all your support! It means a lot to me.

Comments and opinions are welcomed. They are Pippa’s brain food. The next chapter features the Quidditch try outs! Will Pippa make the team? Will she not and have to make up a new plan? Who knows. Well, I do but that’s telling. There is language in this chapter, please don’t read if offended. Enjoy the chapter and I’ll see you again in chapter nine.

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my beta.

This story is dedicated to Liza. She had this story in her favourites and forever will & She told me she was a fan of it. I'll miss you. You're the brightest star in the sky now. 

 





Chapter Eight – 
The One With Scorpius’ Girlfriend



Amazing chapter image by tina.loves @TDA

“That’s exactly what you’d say if you were an alien and you were trying to hide your existence. Like if a Muggle came up to me and said, hey bro, you a wizard? I’d say no wouldn’t I?” - Scorpius Malfoy




The saying goes that only the strong survive, but in what definition is someone classed as strong? Is it merely based on physical strength? Because I am weak as anything if that is true. A lot of my punches miss their target. I once went to hit Damien when I was ten because he stole my sweets, but I missed him and hit a tree. I ended up with a broken thumb and grazed knuckles. Is it something that is so deep inside that it can only arise when the battle cry has been yelled?  Do we all start with this strength? Or does it grow after it’s been fed with all the vile situations that life puts us through? We all survive these situations somehow. The world doesn’t stop turning because your world is falling apart. Time ticks by without your permission.

Cassie told me I could deal with this, I wasn’t sure. She doesn’t fully understand why this was a mountain for me to climb. I don’t really but it is. I didn’t want to be in the presence of Albus. He said things that annoyed me and he did things that broke his mould. He was irregular. I hated anything I couldn’t figure out because those were the things that often caused a little chip in the armour or occasionally broke it completely. If I didn’t know what I was going against, I had no idea how to prepare my defences.

Cassie hummed softly as we strolled around Hogsmeade together. I was irritated, catty and moody. Cassie was careless, pleasant and sarcastic. This meant we’d accidentally had far too many spats this morning. Sometimes we just annoyed each other, but I don’t think she’d leave me like Emilie. The argument we had with Emilie ran far deeper than something like Cassie telling me I looked like a zombie. It’s okay though, I told her she smelled like rubbish.

“This day is going to be crap; I can feel it in my bones.” I muttered kicking the ground.

“Look, I bought you some new socks, what more do you want?” She was growing tired of my whining and so was I.

“Do you want to go to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes?” Cassie offered. “We’ve never been in it before. It’s Fred’s father’s shop you know! He was telling me all about it at breakfast this morning.”

“That’s not surprising considering that the name on the shop says Weasley and Fred is a Weasley.” Cassie rolled her eyes and I shrugged, giving in. “Why not? I might find something good in there I suppose.”

“I might buy a pygmy puff.” Cassie pondered. “Maybe I’ll get a pink one…or a purple one!”

“You like those things?” I laughed as Cassie smiled at me. “Have you seen their eyes? They look like they could kill you while you sleep. It will slice you down while you slumber.”

“I think they’re adorable.” She replied stubbornly. “I’m getting one.” She decided, ignoring my warnings.  

I sighed. If she gets murdered by one, I’m so going to say ‘I told you so’. “What about your parents?” I asked.

She laughed. “They love me and are amazed by anything to do with magic. Combine the two and you’re onto a winner.”

“Brat.” I stuck out my tongue.

“You know it.” She winked as we entered the shop.

The shop was buzzing with students which made me groan. I hated crowds. Shelves upon shelves were piled with things. In the middle of the store there were tables with more products and one was surrounded by a purple mist.  Cassie ran straight towards the Pygmy Puff’s, but I lingered behind as I stared at the products on the shelf. Half of the things were on the wrong shelves. If I ran this shop, it would drive me barmy. People need to learn to put things back in their rightful places. I mean, it only takes an extra five seconds. So I stood there, organizing the shelf and glaring at anyone who gave me a funny look or tried to touch my uncompleted work.

“Pippa!” I heard my name being called but when I tried to look for anyone I knew, I couldn’t see them. Hmm, perhaps it wasn’t my name after all. Maybe I misheard it or I’m hearing voices again. “Oi! You deaf cow.” I turned around to find Fred laughing at me. “I’m going to ask you something and you’ve got to be honest.” I raised my eyebrow. “Instead of checking out all the cool stuff in this store, you’re organizing the shelves?”

I almost laughed. It sounded almost weird when someone said it out loud. “I am, I can’t help it! These shelves are just begging to be fixed and who am I to deny them?” Fred shook his head. “And I am not a deaf cow thank you very much. My hearing is perfect, I am just good at ignoring things.” I looked at my perfect finished work. “There, all done.”

“Now that you’re done, do you want me to give you a tour of the shop? There is bound to be at least one thing you’ll like.”

“You can help me find Cassie if you want, this shop is a damn maze.” I told him.

Fred grinned. “I spotted her earlier, let’s go this way.”

Walking with Fred was weird. People would stop and smile at him. Random guys patted him on the back and girls fluttered their eyelashes. It made me feel sick. People need to get some pride and stop being suck ups.

“Why is everyone being odd?” I asked him, not caring who overheard.

“This is my kingdom.” Fred laughed. “My father owns this place. They are nice to me because I can get them a discount.” He frowned for a second before smiling.

“Well, that is the only reason I talk to you.” I shrugged and Fred glared. “You hang out here a lot?”

“I’m waiting on my dad. Every time there is a Hogsmeade weekend, he always comes to check on the shop and see me.” Fred explained as I listened. “Oh! And he comes to see Roxy too.” Roxy was Fred’s younger sister. She was a first year and she just might be the grumpiest thing ever to come into existence. She just sits there scowling at everything and complains about every tiny thing. I quite like her.

“That’s…” I tried to find a word to finish the sentence but I couldn’t. I wanted to tell him that I thought it was surprisingly sweet. That I was sort of envious that his family was that close but my mind wouldn’t let me say the truth. “…Nice.”

“It is.” He ruffled my hair and I frowned at him.

Cassie was standing at the table with a few other girls but she was the only one I paid attention too. “Pippa!” She yelled. “I don’t know whether I like this one.” She held up a rough looking bright pink pygmy puff. “Or if I like this one better!” She held up an even uglier light purple one that didn’t look pleased.

Fred laughed. “You’re not meant to get them out of the cages you know.”

Cassie shrugged. “It’s easier to make a decision like this.” She said as she held each pygmy puff under each arm.

“You look like you’re carrying a rugby ball.” Fred remarked and Cassie glared.

“Just help me!”

“Well, that one,” I pointed to the bright pink one. “Looks a bit like you when you haven’t had enough sleep. It looks a bit crazy. It will most certainly kill you when it gets a chance. Plus, it’s bright pink! What are you? A girl?” Cassie pouted. “And that one is so ugly, I can’t look it anymore.” I swear the purple one just glared at me.

Cassie turned to Fred. “What do you think?”

“I think that…” Fred paused unsure of what to say. “…you should get them both?”

Cassie’s eyes lit up. “Perfect idea! I love them too much now to give either of them up.” Cassie hugged her new found loves.  She looks crazy. She’s going to be known as the crazy pygmy puff lady. I am hanging around with her. My social life is over. Not that I ever really had one.

“…It’s no problem.” Fred replied, looking a bit scared.

“Do you want to know their names?” Cassie asked excitedly. “I’ve already decided!”  She’d probably decided years ago. She just comes up with names and eventually they are attached to pets, whether they fit or not.  I shrugged and Fred nodded. Cassie held up the purple one. “This one is Uggers because he isn’t the prettiest thing but calling him ugly is too harsh.” She snuggled Uggers and I shook my head. “And this one.” She snuggled the pink one. “Is Pippa Junior or PJ for short because it just reminds me of you.”  I could kill her. I’m nothing like one of those ugly beasts.

 Fred laughed. “I love it. Uggers and PJ!”

 Cassie checked her watch. “Pippa, you’re five minutes late to meeting Scorpius for your double date thingy.”

 “It’s not a double date. It is someone simply meeting up with their cousin to meet their new girlfriend…and his best friend is coming too.” I told her. “No dating about it.”

“Sure, sure.” She brushed me off. “Still sounds a bit dodgy. Maybe you’ll get murdered or maybe Scorpius is smarter than we think.” She pondered it for a moment then snorted. “Nope. That’s an absurd thought.”

“I don’t like Potter.” I folded my arms across my chest. “The boy is annoying at best. We’ll argue all afternoon and Harper will be traumatized. And with that, I’ll take my leave. Have fun looking after Uggers…and PJ…can’t believe you named one after me.” Cassie smirked. “Don’t let them near my bed.” I warned. “Or I’ll throw them out of the window. My namesake or not.”

“Bye Pippa.” Fred called. “Have fun! Come on Cassie, I’ll help you take PJ and Uggers to the till.”

I walked out of the shop towards The Three Broomsticks as I kicked a stone across the path imagining it was Albus’ head. Stomp, stomp, stomp. Oups. I’ve killed him. Mwhaha. I shook my head, I was really going crazy. I entered The Three Broomsticks a little while later. I looked around until I found Scorpius and who must be Harper sitting over in a corner.

“Hi.” I said as I sat down into the seat opposite Scorpius and Harper.  I smoothed out my dress as I stared at them.

“Only fifteen minutes late? That’s a record for you.” Scorpius laughed. “Harper, this is my cousin Pippa.” He nodded to me. “And Pippa, this is Harper, my girlfriend.” Harper smiled at the word ‘girlfriend’.

Harper looked at me warmly. “It’s nice to meet you, Scorpius talks about you a lot.” She was nervous, I could tell. I had made someone nervous! Go me. I rule. I looked at the girl. Harper had dark hair that fell just past her shoulders, a straight little nose and wide eyes that were framed with long eyelashes. She had a delicate nature about her. If the wind blew too strongly, she would be knocked down. She was completed by the smile she wore, it was real and friendly. She’d be the sort of person that would cherish the flower you picked up for free on the way home. In all, I instantly knew that she would never hurt my cousin, betray him on purpose or take advantage of him. She just didn’t seem to have the heart to do something like that. In normal circumstances, these sorts of people would annoy me, but I found myself not being irritated by the girl. I didn’t know whether it was because she was too nice or she just hadn’t spoken enough.

“You too.” I lied, unsure of what to say. I had never even heard of this girl until this morning. I mentally ran through my list of questions that Cassie had given me to avoid awkward silences.

I was going to ask how long they had been together but instead I found myself saying, “Where is Albus? Not coming?” I asked maybe a bit too hopeful. Look at that, I was being an optimist. That’s a new one.

“He’s still coming.” Scorpius laughed. “I didn’t know you two were fighting before this. You’d probably get on if you give each other a chance.” I snorted out of disbelief, Scorpius laughed. “I got you a drink.” He pushed an extra butterbeer towards me and I eyed it suspiciously.

 “Is it poisoned?”

Scorpius chuckled. “Of course.”

 “Awesome. I like living on the edge.” I sipped my drink and instantly I felt my body heating up. I always forget how sweet this stuff is.

Scorpius snorted. “Yeah and I’m a girl.”

“That could be true though.”

“You do make me laugh.”

“You make me want to die.”

 “Are you always like this?” Harper asked quietly. She was unsure whether she was supposed to laugh or cry.

 “Yep.” Scorpius smiled. “She doesn’t mean it though.”

“I do bloody mean it.” I protested.

 “You’re using that sarcasm thing again aren’t you?”

 “Nope.”  I smirked. “Scorpius, you are an idiot.”

 “It takes one to know one.” Scorpius stuck out his tongue.

“Your maturity astounds me.”

It was just then when Albus strolled over, his hands rooted firmly in his pockets. “Sorry I’m late.” Scorpius just smiled at him, completely forgiving him. “I got held up.” He was an expert at saying sorry even though you knew deep down, he didn’t really mean it. He was dressed casually, like he had just chucked them on without looking. I suddenly felt awkward in my dress. He ignored me, instead his attention finally settled on Harper. “Hi Harper, I’m Albus.” He held out his hand for her to shake. What was this? 1979? The only person I’ve ever seen perform a handshake is my dad with men that were even older than he was. He wasn’t cold to her like he often was to me. His tone was warm, almost welcoming.  I took another swig of my butterbeer. Man, this stuff was sweet. It surprised me everytime.

“Hi.” Harper replied, almost dumb stuck. I almost rolled my eyes. Albus isn’t anything special, only the son of someone who is. Even then he was only made special because of certain circumstances.

“We haven’t talked before have we?” He asked and I snorted. Albus doesn’t talk to people that often. I get the feeling that he believes that they are beneath him. He’ll participate in conversation if someone talks to him but he’d never seek it out on his own. Even then, if he doesn’t want to talk to you, you know it. He gives you that certain look that tells you you’re not worth his time and he’d wish you’d shut up. I’ve seen it many times.

“No.” Harper smiled. “We haven’t.”

“Well, I guess that will change.” He told her and I looked at him angrily. She gets this passive nice albeit a little fake Albus and I get the angry one that doesn’t stop spewing venom at me. I finished my drink in one gulp. I would never figure out the boy. This is what annoyed me the most. I had always thought that I was good at understanding at people but it turns out I was truly rubbish. I couldn’t understand why Scorpius insisted on spending time with me, why my brother refused to notice me, why Fred still talked to me even though I was vile to him and why Albus has multiple personalities. What was the real one? Was it the snarky sarcastic boy who had fire or this carefree passive boy? Or maybe that wasn’t him at all.

“I’ll go and get some drinks now that you’ve arrived Al and we’ve all finished.” Albus nodded. “Let’s go Harper.” Harper stood up and followed him as he walked away from the table. I closed my eyes to block out the world for a moment. Scorpius had left me alone with Albus even though he now had realized we don’t get on. He gets smarter every day.

Albus smirked. “Hello Nott.”

I frowned at him. I would rather sit in silence. Thank you very much Potter, please stick to my wishes.  

“You may have noticed I haven’t choked in my sleep.” He continued smugly and I looked away. “How have you been?” He was playing with me, teasing me, waiting for me to break. I wouldn’t. I could play his game.

“I’m good.” I offered curtly.

“You’re shit at conversation Philippia.”  He stated.

“Ever thought I don’t want to talk to you?”

“And what are you doing right now?”

“I’m just explaining that I don’t want to talk to you.” I trailed my fingers across the table. It wasn’t sticky, this made me pleased.

“But to do that you have to talk to me.”  He smirked.

“You’re being annoying Potter.”

“So are you.” He retorted.

“Stop talking to me then.” I told him.

“You stop talking to me.” He bit back.

“This is childish.” I sighed.

“You’d know a lot about being childish wouldn’t you?”  He hummed softly underneath his breath. He found this amusing; I found this annoying. It was somewhat draining and testing patience on my worn nerves.

“Do you know what I think-” I began.

“-If I wanted your opinion, I would have kicked your kennel.” He cut me off.

I glared at him even though I had no idea what he was saying but it sounded offensive. “I don’t know what a kennel is.”  I rolled my eyes.

“I forgot you’re a stuck up Pureblood who knows nothing about the world around them.” He then rolled his eyes. He was mocking me. This boy does my head in.  It seemed that every time I was in Albus’ company, I always got furious at something. Nobody else did this and I wasn’t sure why Albus could do this to me. Who did he think he was anyway? He didn’t know anything about me.

I frowned deeply. “That isn’t fair.” He just shook his head so I continued. “I know a lot of things actually. I know that if I start leaving vowels off my sentences, I sound ghetto…whatever ghetto is. I think it might be a person. ” I did know a lot of things but there was also a lot of things I didn’t know. I couldn’t help it that my parents lived as wizards and not Muggles. I had most of my experiences through Cassie. It was her car that I dangled out of the window and almost fell out. It was her who read me Muggle fiction, even though I hated it all. She also was the first person to give me peas but I don’t think that counts. “But I didn’t think you were caught up in all that blood status rubbish.” I was accusing him now. Two could play at this game.

“Aren’t you? Families like yours are.” He was being an idiot. He was acting like blood status mattered. It didn’t and it never would. I mean just look at me, I’m a pureblood and I am crap at magic.

“Scorpius is from a family like mine. Does he care about blood status?” Albus thought about it for a moment and he said nothing. I smirked, I had got him. Scorpius just liked people. Scorpius’ world was simple in essence. The lights were never on. Nobody was ever home but sometimes I think that Scorpius has the right idea. The boy was always happy after all.  ‘“Anyway, Cassie is Muggleborn.” He seemed surprised. It seemed Albus too lived in a bubble in his own world because Cassie doesn’t hide her heritage; she’s proud of it. Either that or he just didn’t care about anyone else. I’m going with the latter option. “I stay at hers in the summer. Her parents are nice.” I shrugged. I didn’t know why I was defending myself against him. I knew who I was. That was the thing that mattered right? Who gives a crap if he thought I was some crazy pureblood? It doesn’t affect him in the slightest. Unless you know, I take over the world. You never know, it could happen. It’s a long shot but the stories I was told at bedtime always told me not to give up hope.  “I don’t care about blood status.” I finished as I fiddled with my sleeve.

“So it seems.” That’s all he said. For some reason, I was expecting an apology of some sort but I had been fooled again. I almost felt like I deserved one. But I also knew I would be waiting forever. Albus didn’t seem like the type to apologize. He was one of the most stubborn people I had ever come across. Apologizing meant accepting defeat. Albus didn’t seem like the type to accept defeat. It was something for once, I understood well. In this world, defeat is not an option. Not now, not ever, so I pressed on.

“You need a personality transplant.” I told him randomly as I chewed on my bottom lip. As soon as I realized I was doing it, I stopped. I had been hanging out with Scorpius way too much; I’m starting to pick up his annoying habits. That’s what happens when you spend time in someone’s presence; they leave imprints on you without your consent. Stupid people! To hell with them all…except Scorpius of course because hell would surely break him, the others could cope, but Scorpius would die. Well either that or he’d try and make friends with the devil. Then the devil would either accept his friendship or kill him. If Albus went to hell, he’d probably take over and rule it.

“You’re one to talk.” He laughed. “Oh miss charming and grace you are.” My eyes narrowed. I was charming!  Always. Was I graceful? Occasionally.  “I mean for one thing, you’ve had this bit of dirt on your face all day.” Before I had even time to be embarrassed or angry, Albus had leaned over and rubbed his thumb across my cheek. I blushed at his touch. He smirked at me. His gaze met my hard eyes. It’s no wonder those emerald eyes broke hearts daily. “There.” He laughed as he moved his hand away and leant back in his chair. “Now you’re fit for a king.” He looked me up and down. “Well, once you brush your hair maybe.” This whole situation had made me nervous. Thus I had run my fingers through my hair all morning and thus, it was now a mess. I scolded myself, my hair wasn’t important and neither was what Albus thought. He could see me at my worst and I wouldn’t care. Even though the boy never had a crease out of place, his skin always clear and even though his hair looked like it had been caught off guard by a tornado, he managed to pull it off.

“Stop looking at me like that.” He was staring at me with interest and it made me squirm in my seat. “And stop insulting my appearance.”

“I’m not insulting it.” He smirked. “I’m just making observations, such as, you need to brush your hair more regularly. How the hell did you get a boyfriend in the first place?” The remark hit me straight in the gut and I found it hard to breathe for a few moments. It stung and I tried to form words, but I couldn’t because my thoughts had been filled with him. I was trying so hard to forget but people were making it impossible. Albus must know how much he had hurt me. He was a witness to the verbal spat with Emilie. He saw me effected yet he still did it.

I looked up at him, for once, unable to hide my feelings. “I don’t understand how anybody loves you.” I whispered.

I tried to close my eyes to remain calm but I couldn’t stop my blood pressure rising to dangerous levels. An angry flush hit my skin. The urge to be violent moved through me. I wouldn’t do this. I wouldn’t lose my composure. I was better than this. I was better than him or maybe he was better than me. In my angry haze, it was hard to think straight and my thoughts were becoming jumbled. This angry was making me forgot about my appearance, the one that I fought hard to carve out from the one everyone believed I should be like. I opened my eyes to find him scowling at me.

Albus gritted his teeth. His temper went up a notch, tightening his muscles giving him a rigid look. He drummed his hard finger tips on the table.  Albus said nothing as he glared at me and I glared back.

Then Scorpius returned with the drinks, Harper happily grinning behind him. “Sorry, we took so long.” He placed the wobbly tray on the table. How he hadn’t dropped them, I’ll never know. “The queue is so long!” I looked up at Scorpius as I stitched my composure back together. I could manage the rest of the day, I would come undone later.

Albus raised his eyebrow, his anger fading away. He was his normal calm and collected self. “Or you kept on letting people go in front of you?”

Scorpius laughed. “You know me too well!”

I rolled my eyes. “You’ve got to let people stop doing that.”

“Doing what?” He blinked innocently. He truly didn’t know. I almost patted him on the head but I stopped myself. That would be showing affection. For one, I didn’t show affection and two, I couldn’t show anything I didn’t feel. If I patted his head, someone might think I cared about him, I don’t or Albus might think I had a heart, which I didn’t. Grrr! Feel my evil.

“Letting people walk all over you.” I scolded him. “People will just abuse that.”

Harper frowned. “What’s wrong with being nice to people?” Oh my dearest Hufflepuff, you’ve got a lot to learn about the world.

“It tends to backfire.” Albus laughed. “But you should just keep on being nice, Harper.” He looked at her and she fiddled with her fingers. “All kinds of people make the world go around.” He stared at me for a moment and I managed to keep my cool composure. I don’t know how. Maybe the things Cassie had tried to teach me were finally sinking in. “You’ve just got to ignore the moody cow over here.” Screw my composure! I was going to pull his hair until he cried. “She’s angry at the world.”

“-I am not angry at the world, you twat.” The words escaped my lips before I knew it. Albus didn’t deserve the angry emotion points he got for irritating me. He deserved nothing but for some reason, I couldn’t offer him nothing.

Albus chuckled lightly. “Sure you’re not.”

“Now, now children!” Scorpius interrupted. “Be nice to each other.” Albus shrugged and I folded my arms. “Now isn’t this a lovely day?”

“It’s bloody freezing.” I muttered as I sipped my Butterbeer. Some of it dribbled down my chin. I wiped it away quickly, hoping no one had seen but Albus had. He was looking at me with that lethal smile.

“You’re such a lady.” He snickered.

I was about to insult him when Scorpius cleared his throat. “Albus! How is quidditch going?”

Albus grinned at Scorpius; quidditch was something that Albus wasn’t indifferent at. He seemed to love it. “I’ve been working on a few plans.” Scorpius nodded. “But I haven’t got my full team now have I? A few people were 7th years and bloody Emmett has quit the team hasn’t he?”

Scorpius gasped like a little girl. “Emmett loves Quidditch.” I sipped my butterbeer as innocently as I could. I couldn’t help but hide the small smile that found its way to my lips. My strange plan was working. Lily had convinced Emmett to give up something he loved per my request. I was surprised; I thought Lily would fail although I hoped she wouldn’t. Maybe there was more to Lily Potter than I first thought.

“I know.” Albus fumed. I was seeing him display emotion. It made me highly uncomfortable to witness. I had also, in my own way, caused this. “I don’t understand why.”

“Maybe he’s been taken over by aliens.” Scorpius offered before thinking it over. “It’s entirely possible; I watched this TV documentary about these aliens who emerged from these pods looking like six year olds. They fall in love with a few humans, then everything gets complicated and they have to leave cause the FBI, whatever that is, are being big fat meanies! It was a fascinating story. I would have loved a proper ending though, but it’s never been on the news so I guess, this FBI thingy never found them eh?” Scorpius sighed dreamily.

Albus laughed loudly. The sound was mesmerizing and easily catchable. Soon, I found myself laughing, and then Harper laughed while Scorpius looked puzzled. I didn’t know exactly what I was laughing about but it didn’t stifle the laughter. I think I was laughing at the fact that Scorpius believes in aliens.

“Scorpius.” Albus started as soon as he could stop himself from laughing. “That wasn’t real. It was a TV series called Roswell. Aliens don’t exist.”

Scorpius looked crushed. “Really?”

Albus nodded. “Yep.”

Scorpius eyed him. “Is there any proof to prove that the existence of aliens doesn’t exist?”

“Nope.” Albus answered. “But there isn’t any proof to prove they exist either.”

“I’m still a believer. One day, I shall find an alien and call it Chalky.” He was so hopeful. He actually still believed in aliens.

“Scorpius.” I tried to reason with the boy. “I’ll humour you, let’s just say that if aliens did exist, how would you know what one looked like? They could look exactly like you or I.”

Scorpius frowned. “Is this a subtle way of you confessing you’re an alien Pippa?” Albus sniggered and I frowned.

“No, I am not a bloody alien!” I remarked, frustrated.

“That’s exactly what you’d say if you were an alien and you were trying to hide your existence. Like if a Muggle came up to me and said, hey bro, you a wizard? I’d say no wouldn’t I?”

“Knowing you, you’d accidentally say yes.”

“Scorpius.” Harper smiled softly. He looked at her warmly. “I don’t think your cousin is an alien because wouldn’t that make you part alien too? And you’re not an alien.”

“But what if this alien Pippa stole the real Pippa?” He stared me down. “Where is my cousin? Give her back!” He ordered.

“Right here Scorpius, unfortunately.” Oh, how I wish I was any place but here right now. I would rather be getting eaten by a flobberworm that listen to my deluded cousin any longer.

“But that’s what you’d say if you’ve stolen my cousin and are pretending to be her.”

“This is getting ridiculous.” I sighed, running out of patience with my cousin. I was getting ready to deliver a smack down on him. This is worst when he thought I was Satan and kept on throwing holy water on me when I was nine. I eventually convinced him that I wasn’t Satan but he still wore that cross necklace and ate a garlic tablet everyday for a whole year. That was one smelly year. “I’m not an alien. I never was and I never will be. If I was an alien, I would have killed you by now or sent you to a different planet.”

“Hmmm, I’m still not-“

“-One more word and you will be in a world of pain.” I warned and Scorpius finally decided to shut up. Ah, the boy has some common sense about him after all. “Anyway.” I changed the subject as I mentally scanned my list of questions that Cassie told me to ask earlier. “How did you guys meet?”

Scorpius blinked. “In Hogwarts.”

“Well that’s surprising.” I sighed. “I mean, I know you met in Hogwarts, but how?”

“Well, I was strolling around the hallways looking for you actually and-”

I never got to hear the end of Scorpius’ story because that’s when Fred entered The Three Broomsticks in a tizzy. His clothes were crumpled, he was out of breath and he stared me down with manic eyes. “Pippa.” He wheezed. “You’ve got to come. Something’s happened to Cassie…she’s hurt.”  

Oh shit.

 








The Next Time On The Human Factor

 
I curled up next to her frame on the bed. The stupid nurse would have to drag me away kicking and screaming if she wanted to remove me. I was staying here until she woke up. She breathed softly and I tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. Her lipstick was faded which I knew would embarrass her. Her lipstick was some sort of defence and I wouldn’t let these people see her look anything other than her best.

“All of you need to piss off.”



Chapter 9: The One With The Fall Out
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note:  Hi! How are you all? Thanks for all your support. Comments and opinions are always welcomed. Ten is already written so it shouldn’t be too long before it comes out. It just needs to be looked over. I hope you enjoy this chapter.

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my beta.

 






Chapter Nine –
The One With The Fall Out



Amazing chapter by shudder @TDA


“Chill, I won’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation of being evil.” - James Potter



“What the hell happened to her?” I yelled as I ran with Fred towards the hospital wing. Scorpius, Harper and strangely Albus were following us. I didn’t understand why but I couldn’t be bothered to question it. All I was focused on was Cassie.

“Well, we decided to take a walk around Hogsmeade because I was still waiting around for my dad and Cassie wanted Uggers and PJ to see the world.” I could have laughed if I didn’t feel like I was about to explode at any moment. “She made me hold Uggers and PJ as she pulled out this chocolate bar from Honeydukes. She began to eat it before she…couldn’t breathe. They said it’s an allergic reaction.”

“She’s allergic to nuts.” I told him. “She is usually so careful about this crap. I guess she must have not been paying attention.”

“She just picked it up without looking.”

“Then what happened?”

“I took her straight to the hospital wing and they gave her a potion to put her to sleep until tomorrow to give her body a chance to recover as it was quite a sever reaction. She got this ugly rash and everything. She couldn’t breathe, her throat was closing up, it was awful. ” Fred rubbed his forehead. “I left Uggers and PJ with that girl Emilie from your dorm, she said she’ll leave them on Cassie’s bed.”

I nodded. “Thanks for coming to get me.” I pushed open the door of the hospital wing to find her just lying there. She looked like she was sleeping peacefully; obviously the potions were kicking in because I couldn’t see a rash anywhere on her pale skin. It still pained me to see her lying there looking so helpless. I had witnessed this once before and it was just as scary as before. I knew she’d be fine because she was in good hands but I was still worried.

James and Damien scrambled into the room to join the big group we had formed. Who knew Cassie was this popular. I certainly didn’t.

I climbed upon the bed, unable to help myself and curled up next to her frame on the bed. The stupid nurse would have to drag me away kicking and screaming if she wanted to remove me. I was staying here until she woke up. She breathed softly and I tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. Her lipstick was faded which I knew would embarrass her. Her lipstick was some sort of defence and I wouldn’t let these people see her looking anything other than her best. Fred watched us painfully. He was feeling guilty but he shouldn’t. He didn’t do anything.

“All of you need to piss off.” I told them without even looking up. No one looked shocked; it was almost like they were waiting for it. They all just stood there numbly. The only person who seemed to show any emotion was Damien and he was annoyed. I couldn’t even be bothered to think why.

He eyed me. “Why are you acting like an idiot?” I would not cry. “Stop whatever you’re doing, you look stupid and it’s embarrassing.” For once in my life, I was showing emotion around people I did not trust. I was exposing that deep down I had a heart after all. It was painful, it was embarrassing but the person I loved the most in the world was lying in the hospital wing.

I sat up and looked at him. I was trying to see the kind, gentle soul that I grew up with but all I could see was a critical monster. I too, was also a monster at times but if Damien fell to pieces right in front on me, I would support him but he obviously wasn’t like that. I was surprised because this was the sort of actions people expected from a slimy Slytherin, not a noble Gryffindor.  His eyes were not the eyes I remembered. They still were the exact shade of mine but mine always seemed colder, now I was staring into his eyes and seeing me. “I’m not being an idiot.” I whispered. “Cassie is really weird about people seeing her without her lipstick. And Damien, I don’t like your tone.” I was sick of him and I was tired. I was so tired of it all.

“You don’t like my tone?” He scoffed. “I’m sick of you creating this shit. You turn everything into a big deal. You lost one of your best friends, so you turned into a bitch, then you lost your boyfriend, and you wouldn’t leave your bedroom for the summer.” He ranted as I cowered, losing my will to fight. I couldn’t fight him. I couldn’t step up to my King when I was only a humble subject. “You got everyone’s attention with that didn’t you? Mom’s, Dad’s and every other useless person that makes up our family. You were the only topic for the summer.”

I stood there wincing as I took his blows. I didn’t do any of these things because I wanted attention. It was quite the opposite, I loathed attention, it made my skin crawl and I felt uncomfortable in the light. I belonged in the shadows. The shadows were my home. I couldn’t help it that people were worried about me. If I could, I would have taken their worry away but I was so broken that I couldn’t fix myself. I was lost to the world of nightmares and Cassie was the person who managed to grab me and pull me back into reality. My parents helped, they crawled in my room, battled through the void and offered love. My brother truly didn’t understand me at all. “I didn’t do any of that for attention.” I admitted, unable to believe that he actually thought I had. “I did that because I was in pieces and I was surrounded by darkness.” I laughed. I didn’t know why but I was laughing hysterically. Maybe I’ve finally lost the plot. “You’re pathetic. Is that what this is all about? Attention? Because Damien, don’t you see? You get enough of it every fucking day. But it’s still not enough is it? That’s your problem. Nothing is ever good enough for you.” The words tumbled out and I wasn’t sure where they came from, but I knew that I believed in every single one.

“Why didn’t I get a brother? Why did I have to get you? Someone up there must hate me a lot.”  He sighed, ignoring my words. He always ignored what I had to say.

I lost my will to fight right there because I believed in his words. Maybe I deserved him being nasty to me.  Maybe every cruel word was actually the truth.

“I think you need to go.” Albus spoke calmly.

Damien stared at him. He stepped closer to him, challenging him and daring him to say anything else but Albus didn’t falter. I wondered why he was doing this but I couldn’t find the words to question it. “What did you just say?”

“I said.” Albus answered in a bored tone. “That you should go, don’t you see that she’s acting like a loony because she’s worried about her friend? Come on Nott, I thought you were smarter than that.” He rolled his eyes.

“Damien.” Scorpius pleaded. “You’ve upset her and you’re making everything worse.  Please just go.”

“Please go.” Fred chimed in as well.

“Do you want to me go, Pippa?” He asked, looking straight at me. His words burned me to ashes and I was no phoenix.  I realized I should have seen this disappointment coming because we knew so little about each other.  

I didn’t want to let him go but my hands were being burnt from holding the rope that kept us together. He was my brother. He was supposed to love me when I was making mistakes or if I was being an idiot. He couldn’t just pick and choose. Love wasn’t like that. I struggled with the emotion but even I knew that this was wrong. He clipped my wings and stole my will to fly. I felt like everything was falling on top of me. It was constricting me and I felt like I couldn’t breathe but I managed to find the words from somewhere.  “Yes.” I told him. “You are not welcome here.”

Damien laughed cruelly. “Whatever. Screw you all.” He stormed out and I watched him with a feeling of sadness. I wanted him gone, so why did I feel like running after him and telling him I was sorry? I sighed. I just wanted it to be like it when we were children and perfect. We knew nothing and that was the best thing of all.

“I’m sorry about him Pippa.” James told me.

“It’s okay.” I responded. “He always treats me like crap; I’m quite used to it now.” I swallowed the lump that had risen in my throat. “It would be quite surprising if he didn’t.”   I lay back down, trying to understand why my brother hated me so much.

“It’s still not right Pippa.” James told me softly. “Do you want me to talk to him for you?”

“No, don’t bother.” I closed my eyes.  We sat in silence for a few moments before I spoke again. “You can all stay, I suppose.” I didn’t look up to see any of their reactions. “Also, if you say anything about this to anyone, I will murder you.”

Scorpius brushed his fingers through my hair and for once, I didn’t cringe because it felt strangely comforting so I just gave in and let him stroke my hair without a fight. “Would you like anything?” I closed my eyes, feeling okay for the moment. I shook my head as Scorpius tucked a piece of my hair behind my ear. For once, I felt sleepy. I didn’t know why I suddenly felt like this but my body was exhausted and it needed to sleep. So I succumbed to sleep as Scorpius stroked my hair. I knew when I woke up, they all would still be there and I was perfectly fine with that.

I woke up feeling like I could have slept for decades. I always felt like that but I knew sleep wouldn’t come later. My body was a stubborn little git.  I opened my eyes and I found Cassie’s face appearing above me. Her eyes shined and her grin was wild. “Well, hello there sunshine.”

“You’re awake?” I fumbled as I sat up quickly and we accidentally bashed heads. It seems that worry had made me stupid.

Cassie rolled her eyes. “Yes, I am genius.” Her hair was sticking up at wild angles and she was a little bit pale but she seemed to be okay.

“Why didn’t you wake me?”

Cassie laughed. I missed that sound, even though it had only disappeared for a day. “Pippa, I know you hardly ever sleep.” There goes the idea that I thought she didn’t notice. “Plus you just looked so sweet.” She teased and I crinkled up my nose. Only Cassie could find me sweet. No one had ever called me sweet in my entire life.

“I’m glad…” I started but I found that words were failing me. I suddenly became aware of the audience. James was smiling at me, Scorpius was patting a cut on his face before wincing, Harper was sighing at Scorpius, Fred had fallen asleep and Albus just looked bored. I was surprised that none of them had left. I felt embarrassment rise in me. All these people had seen me at my weakest, my most human side. I had crumbled in front of them but no more. Whatever part of my heart was open yesterday, it was now closed. Walls that were thicker surrounded my heart and would never fracture again. I refused to let them in but they were trying. Scorpius kept on getting closer to my heart but he hadn’t gotten inside it. I hoped he would get pricked by the thorns surrounding it and just go away. “Scorpius.” I looked at him. “What happened to your face?”

“I fell out of my chair.” He laughed. “I fell straight on the floor.”

“I wish I could have seen that.”

Cassie patted me on the head. “Thank you.” She whispered and I smiled at her, a real smile and she grinned back.

“Anytime.”

“Anyway, they said I could leave soon. So I’m going to get ready.” That was our cue to leave. Everyone scrambled up. I stepped out of the bed feeling mouldy. I needed a shower and a change of clothes. I gave Cassie one last glance and she waved at me. I left feeling like it was all okay.

“Did you guys spend all night here?”

“Yep.” James responded. “Cassie’s right, you do look sweet when you sleep.” He teased and I glared. “Chill, I won’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation of being evil.”

“I’d murder you if you did.”

“That’s the girl I know!”  James laughed. “Anyway, I have to go this way.” He was a Gryffindor after all and we were all Slytherins except for Harper. He ruffled my hair. “You okay with everything though?” I nodded, wondering why he cared. “I’ll see you later.”  He then left when we went one way and he went the other.

“Is your face any better?” Harper asked Scorpius.

Scorpius nodded. “Yep. I’m all good, it’s nothing I’ve never received before.” He paused for a moment. “Actually, I’ve had a lot worse. Remember when you pushed me out of the tree house?” He nudged me for my attention. If he tries to link our arms again, I’ll kick him.

“You chopped off the head of my teddy.” I responded. “What did you expect?”

“He was ill! He needed a head transplant.”

“I think you’re the one that needs a head transplant.”

Scorpius laughed. “I could argue the same thing about you.” He looked around. “I have to walk Harper back to her common room. I’ll see you at lunch time. Don’t be nasty to each other.” He looked at me and Albus who had stayed silent for the whole walk. “Be nice, it won’t kill you.” Albus shrugged and I tried to look innocent.  “See you in a bit.”

“Good bye!” Harper told us warmly, as she linked arms with Scorpius and they both walked off towards the direction of the Hufflepuff common room.

Albus and I walked in silence for a little while. I glanced at him before turning away.

“Like what you see?” He questioned.

I shook my head. “I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer.” There was a question playing upon my lips. I was a little scared to ask him so I decided to dip my toes in the water to test it. “You didn’t have to stick up for me with my brother you know.”

Albus just shrugged.

“Why did you do it?” The question was out there. It floated in the air in the heavy silence.

“It wasn’t about you.” He responded. “Your brother just pisses me off.”

I laughed. “I think that is something we can finally agree on.”

“Strange isn’t it?” Albus rolled his eyes. We paused for a few moments. “Your brother treats you like crap. Emilie treats you like crap. The only people who don’t treat you like crap are Cassie, James, Fred and Scorpius and you respond by treating them like crap.” He smirked. “It’s interesting isn’t it?”

“Piss off Potter.” I spat as the anger boiled in me. He infuriated me. How dare he? “You don’t know anything about me so stop trying. It’s getting old now.”

Albus sniggered. “Don’t hate me because you know it’s the truth.”

I couldn’t be bothered to argue anymore because I was exhausted. The whole thing with Cassie was tiring and my argument with Damien broke something inside. I couldn’t be bothered with Albus and his deluded rants towards me. I didn’t understand why he just couldn’t shut the hell up. We entered the common room after telling the wall the password. I ran towards the dormitories hoping nobody would be there. I didn’t stop to say any words of goodbye to Albus; I just wanted to get away from him. I clambered into my bed, pulled the sheets over my head and I tried to shut the world out for a little while.

“Pippa.” Cassie poked my forehead. “It’s time for the Quidditch try outs!”

I scrambled out of bed, feeling dazed and confused. I had fallen sleep but I didn’t remember when. “What?”

“You know the try outs?” Cassie looked at me like I was stupid. She was back in all her glory. Her lipstick was on and her hair was neatly brushed. “You were excited for them? You wanted to try out for seeker? I told you I’d be supportive about it? Well this is me being supportive. Get your lazy ass out of bed.” She winked at me. “And brush your hair, you look like a tramp.”

I grumbled as I got into the shower. I breathed in deeply. This would be when I showed Albus. Fred had trained me somewhat decently. It didn’t come without him being tough on me but with my motivation, it was a lot easier to take it all in and push myself. I could stay on a broom and not fall off. After I was done, I got out of the shower and changed into my clothes.

I could do this.

I stepped out of the bathroom. I found Cassie waiting for me and when I approached her she handed me her broom. “I know you’ve been borrowing Fred’s but you can use mine today if you want.” I looked at her in shock. Cassie loved her broom, it was one of the best ones on the market and she polished in once a week without fail. It was one of her most prized possessions and she trusted me enough not to destroy it. I felt overwhelmed so I just nodded. “Do you want me to come with you? I already have my place on the team so I don’t have to go but I will if you want the support.”

“Nah. I think I’d mess up if I knew you were watching.”

“Okay.” She told me, understanding. “Now go and get your ass on the team.”

I laughed. “I’ll try.” I turned to leave but stopped myself. “Thanks for the broom.” Cassie just shrugged like it was nothing but I knew differently. I wondered down the stairs feeling slightly positive. If I got on the team, I could get my own broom; those were the terms my parents had told me. They didn’t see the point of getting me something I would never use if I didn’t manage to get on the team. 

The wind nipped my arms as soon as I stepped outside. I walked towards the Quidditch pitch. When I got there, I was amazed with the amount of people trying out for the team; a few boys but a lot of giggly girls. Their giggles were like a banshee yelling in my ears. I bloody hate giggling.

“Pippa!” Scorpius ran up to me, his Slytherin scarf tied so tight around his neck, I wondered why it wasn’t choking him. “I’ve come here to support you!” He held up a giant sign that said ‘Go Pippa’ It was written in sparkly purple. I tried to find the words to yell at him but I was warmed by the gesture so I rolled my eyes and tutted.

“Scorpius, you’re so embarrassing.” I muttered. “What if I don’t get on the team? Albus hates me remember?”

“I’ve told him that you’re trying out for the team and I’ve asked him to put his prejudices aside for the moment and just focus on your quidditch skills.” Scorpius grinned but I just sighed. “He agreed.”

“What are all those people doing here?”

“Most of them just come to try out because that way, Albus will actually talk to them.” Scorpius shook his head. “I think it’s a tad weird, but he manages to see who’s fake and who isn’t quite quickly.”

“Welcome to the Slytherin Quidditch try outs.” Albus arrived as he looked at all the people who had come to try outs. “It gets bigger every year.” He muttered. “I’d like you to sort yourself into groups on what position you’re trying out for.” He paused. “We have spaces for one keeper, one chaser and of course, one seeker.”

Scorpius pushed me towards the smallest group; the people that were trying out to be seeker. I looked at my opponents; three girls. One had dark hair, the other was a shade of red and the other one was wearing a really ugly hat.

“Do you lot really like Quidditch?” I asked, trying to suss out their weak points.

“Not really.” The red head one responded. “I just wanted to get a good look at Albus. He is as good looking as they say.” She examined her nails.

“If you play Quidditch, you’re nails will get messed up.” I told her and she looked at me shocked. “Why don’t you go and wait over there with my cousin Scorpius, you’d make a better audience member and he’s Albus’ best friend. He’d know a lot about him.” I waved at Scorpius to prove I knew him and he waved back a little confused.

Red headed girl nodded. “I suppose he’s fit too in his own way.”  I felt a little bit sick. “You coming Hattie?” She nodded towards the dark girl, who shrugged.

“I only came because of you. You know I’m in love with Fred Weasley anyway.”

I looked at these girls like they were aliens. I couldn’t understand them. I’m glad Cassie wasn’t like them.  I watched them walk away as I feared for the future.

This just left me with ugly hat girl. She glared at me angrily and I knew I couldn’t change her mind with my words. I would have to use different tactics all together. I smiled at her and she looked away. Her gaze focused on Albus and him only. It was my perfect moment. I had shoved my wand underneath my sleeve and I let it pop out a tiny bit. I whispered “confundo” and it hit ugly hat girl. Ugly Hat girl blinked at me.

“What am I doing here?” She whispered, quite frightened and I almost felt bad.

“You got lost.” I walked over patting her on her shoulder. “You should go back to the castle and do your homework.” I told her and she nodded, feeling confused and believing everything I was saying. I watched her stumble her way to the castle.

Well, that was a lot easier than I thought.

I waited for ages, in the end I got bored and just sat on the floor and hope I didn’t catch anything. Eventually Albus finally came up to me frowning. “Where is the rest of your group?” He asked.

I shrugged. “They decided quidditch was not for them.”

Albus scowled. “But this means…”

“Yep.” I smirked. “I’m your only choice for seeker.” I would get on the team due to default.

“Does anyone else want to try out for seeker?” Albus called to the people but the snarl in my expression put them off from putting their hands up and volunteering. Albus turned to me. “You’re clever Nott, but I warn you, it won’t be easy.”

“Bring it.” I replied.

“Welcome to the team.” He snarled before storming off as I stood there smugly. I felt amazing.

The plan had begun.

 





The Next Time On The Human Factor

“You’re soaking.” He looked me over. “You look like a drown rat.” He took off his cloak and swung it over my shoulders. He was wearing his puppy jumper and I almost smiled at it as I wrapped his cloak around my shoulders. “There, you look a tiny bit better, though I can do nothing about your hair unless you let me use magic.”

“I’m not letting you use any spells on me.” I sniffed. I hated colds. “I don’t trust you.”

 


Chapter 10: The One Where Everyone Is Sort Of Civilized
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 Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hi! How are you all? Thanks for all your support, it means a lot me and inspires me to write. I’m having a bit of trouble writing the next chapter but hopefully it shouldn’t last too long. The next chapter is a fun one. 

Please remember to keep your language 12+ in reviews, otherwise they have to get deleted. Comments and opinions are always welcomed and make the world go round.

  Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my beta.






Chapter Ten –
The One Where Everyone Is Sort Of Civilized




Amazing Chapter Image By hayley jade@TDA


“I personally like the flaws.” - Albus Potter





It was pouring down with rain. It wasn’t a light drizzle because I might have been able to deal with that. It was huge droplets that hit me like bullets. My clothes were soaked and my hair was dripping like a fountain. I didn't look like the perfect little Pureblood I pretended to be. In all this, I was expected to find the bloody snitch. I had lost it about an hour ago. This was our Quidditch training; Albus Potter has gone insane. The worst thing was that a lot of people found this acceptable. Cassie was having the time of her life doing different kinds of loops. Just looking at her was making me feel sick. I glanced around. That snitch had disappeared and I had no idea where to start looking for it. Oh well. I shivered, it was too bloody cold. Albus was trying to kill me, I was sure of it. I know he said it wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t expect him to turn into Satan. I was cold. I was going to catch my death.

“Oi Nott!” He yelled at me from above. “Get on your bloody broom and try to find the snitch.” He held the beaters bat in his hand as he hovered just above me.

I had gotten off my broom a while ago feeling defeated. I was just strolling around the pitch humming to myself as I wished to be struck down with lightening or something. “I’m trying!” I yelled. I was trying not to get dirty and I was trying not to take my broom to Albus’ head. I was winning at both.

“To find it you have to be on your broom idiot.” He snapped, clearly quite pissed off. He was getting tired but he still managed the bludger with all his strength. He has a lot of rage I suppose. I should have gone for that position, it looks quite fun. I mean you get to hit things and aim them at people you don’t like.

“What if it was near the ground?” I questioned, ignoring his idiotic remark.

“Just get on your broom before I kill you. I am this close to kicking you off the team.” He threatened. He was grumpy today. I was going to point that out but I found myself wanting the easy life because this rain truly was annoying me, so I mounted my broom and kicked off. I always felt sick for the first few moments before I got used to being in mid air. I was never going to find it relaxing; I was always too worried about slipping off the broom and falling to my death. I was petrified of actually playing a game. I was sure I would take a hit to the head. I flew around as I pondered whether this was worth it. This was a contact sport and I felt like I should have picked Gobstones or something. Then I looked at Albus, who was soaked and angry and I decided it was. His face dropping would make it all worth it. I would be the winner and he would be the loser. I flew around slowly before finally spotting the snitch. I whizzed towards it, feeling like I was going to die at any moment and caught it with my numb fingers.

Albus stared at me. “Not too bad Nott.” I gripped the snitch hard in my hand. “You could do better though; much better.” He shook his head.

“As always.” I muttered under my breath, I had heard those words far too often in my life for it to be healthy. Apparently, I could always do better if I only tried. The phrase was starting to tire on me.

“I think that’s it for tonight’s practice.” Albus called and everyone instantly, me included, flew down to the wet pitch. My shoes instantly sunk into the soft mud. This was disgusting. How do people deal with this? We were all tired and moody. Except Cassie, but she’s had seven cups of coffee today so she has enough energy to last her till the end of November.  “We’ve had a good practice. We need to keep it up if we want to take the cup again.” Albus had won last year; Damien was in a mood about it for weeks. He ripped open a pillow and rivalled me in the glaring stakes. I had to kick Scorpius to show I was the evil child. Scorpius cried that day because I was ‘mean’.

Cassie walked over to me. “That was great wasn’t it?” I glared at her as she wiped her eyes. Her mascara had dripped, giving her the most amazing panda eyes. “Nothing makes you feel so alive.” I can think of some better ways to make me feel alive; a hot chocolate and a water bottle. Yes, sometimes I acted like my Grandma Greengrass but my Grandma Greengrass is cool because she talks to a clock in the shape of a pig. I didn’t know it was a clock until Cassie pointed it out after I took a photo of it. I have yet to tell her because she’ll accuse me of going Muggle and force me to drink tea while I sit with that damn parrot who refers to me as a ‘twat’ as she recites my heritage, whips out the photo albums and tells me to trust no one, not even myself. It’s so annoying. One day I’m hoping she’ll blast me from the lineage and I’ll be done with it all, but until then, I have arguments with the parrot, I get a stomach ache from all the tea and I wonder where I got my looks from because some of my ancestors look like monkeys. 

Cassie waved her hands in front of my face. “Hello? Earth to Pippa?”  She poked me in the arm. I stared at her, giving her my attention, at least for a little while. “How did you find it?”

“I am cold, moody and I fear I may die.” I sniffed as I wiped my nose on my sleeve. “It is normally like that?”

Cassie thought about it for the moment. “It normally isn’t raining.” She shrugged. “Sometimes it’s sunny. Wear another jumper next time.” She patted her jumper that had snowflakes all over it. “It’s what I do.”

“I don’t own a jumper.” I thought about it for a moment. “I’ll steal one of Scorpius’. He has tonnes. I’m not wearing that one with the puppy on it. That just looks stupid.” All of his animal ones look stupid. I would have stolen Damien’s jumper but we still weren’t talking. He refused to look at me and treated me like I was invisible. I was right in this situation and he would be damned before I crawled back to him and begged forgiveness. He’s waiting for me to crack. He’s going to be waiting a bloody long time. “He has one with a zombie on that is eating cookies. I like that one.” I was daydreaming about jumpers but at least it was keeping my mind off my irritation towards my brother. I hadn’t been able to get a good night sleep since I fell asleep with Scorpius stroking my hair in the hospital wing. That was terrible. I had tried to forget Scorpius’ sweet gesture but it was proving difficult because the sweet gesture gnawed at me. He seemed to know what I needed when I didn’t.

Cassie yawned. “I’m so tired.” She told the wall the password and we entered the common room.  “I’m going to bed.” She said as she began walking towards the dormitory. I was going to follow her but I gave one last look towards the common room and it was buzzing with students, I had no interest in any of them but one had interest in me, Scorpius. I sighed, knowing I couldn’t head straight to bed even though I knew I wouldn’t go to sleep straight away anyway. Scorpius came running over to me and frowned.

“You’re soaking.” He looked me over. “You look like a drowned rat.” He took off his cloak and swung it over my shoulders. He was wearing his puppy jumper and I almost smiled at it as I wrapped his cloak around my shoulders. “There, you look a tiny bit better, though I can do nothing about your hair unless you let me use magic.” He chewed on a liquorish lace.

“I’m not letting you use any spells on me.” I sniffed. I hated colds. “I don’t trust you.”

Scorpius raised his eyebrow. “I looked at your exams results; I got higher marks than you in everything.” He was proud of that. I should have been embarrassed but I didn’t care; my marks will never be the best. Anyway, I swear Scorpius cheats. The boy is as dumb as a rock. How the hell can he get decent marks?

“Five year old children would get higher marks than me.” I smirked and Scorpius laughed. The laugh that hadn’t changed since we were children, it was still as innocent and charming as ever. “So we shouldn’t really argue about that should we?” I was being kind to him, I could hardly believe myself.

“I suppose. It’s a strange world when I’m classed as being smarter than you isn’t it?” He asked, blinking and I shuddered. “Want one?” He offered me a liquorish lace and I shook my head. Liquorish is disgusting.  

“You may flourish here but you’d never survive in the real world.” I stuck my tongue at him.

“I’d find an old lady to take me in. I’m cute and she’d feed me pies.” Scorpius shrugged. “I got it all figured out.” This is a boy that didn’t learn how to tie his shoelace until his were twelve. He has nothing worth knowing figured out but then again, neither did I most of the time but still, I had more figured out than Scorpius. “How was your practice?” He pulled me onto a sofa. I sat at the opposite edge to him but I found myself relaxing. That’s the thing with Scorpius, even in a room full of people, I always felt safe with him, it was like nothing could touch me. Even if we ended up in a fight, it’d be me protecting him. He’d scream and faint.

“It was a nightmare.” I complained. “First it was freezing, then it started to pour down and it went on for hours! I thought it was never going to end.” I brush my fingers through my still wet hair. It was going to frizz soon. “Albus is a nightmare. He is serious about this quidditch crap isn’t he?”

Scorpius laughed. “I told you, quidditch is one of the things he cares about. He wouldn’t mind if you ended up killing yourself as long as you capture the snitch first.”  He stared at my broom which I had only just got through yesterday. Dad was proud of me for doing something and Mom said she hoped I was at least ladylike about it. Damien didn’t say a thing. I feared he would never talk to me again. Sometimes it didn’t hurt but most of the time it did. “Your parents actually got you one of the best brooms. I’m surprised your mom is letting her precious little girl partake.”  My mother refused to let me play in a sand pit when I was little because I would have got my dress dirty. She was a little weird.

“I don’t think she had any choice. I had already gotten onto the team.”

Scorpius snorted. “You got it through default.” 

“It still counts.”

“I suppose.” Scorpius finally agreed.  “Has Damien spoken to you?”

“Nope, he’s ignored me for the past week.”  I tugged the cloak closer to me. It smelled like Scorpius. It was comforting. “How about you?”

“He told me I was a traitor. He asked why I sided with you.” Scorpius shrugged. “Why everyone is siding with you.” I didn’t know what everyone thought about the argument and frankly I didn’t really care but it was nice to know that people thought I was right. I have a habit of being an utter bitch sometimes and I never can see the line until I’ve crossed it but I felt like I was right this time but the more I thought about it, the more my head gets fuzzy. “I know Damien has issues but this is ridiculous.”

“I can see why last summer was hard though.” I reasoned. “My parents got worried about me.” Sometimes my dad would stroke my hair until I fell asleep when I found it too hard and my mother always made sure I had food and drinks; I didn’t even have to leave my room. “I mean, I guess Damien just needs attention. He’s always had it so it must be a struggle to lose it, even momentarily.” I pulled my knees against my chest, suddenly feeling very small.  “I didn’t mean for him to get hurt or pushed out…I just…” I couldn’t find the words but Scorpius nodded understanding.

“Yeah, but he should stop being a twat and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around him.” Scorpius sighed. “I love him and all, but the boy’s middle name should be selfish. I don’t know how James puts up with him.”

“I don’t know how you put up with Albus.”  I joked.

Scorpius frowned at me. “Albus has been through a lot; don’t judge him too quickly.” He said it gently but I found myself glaring at him as I felt offended.

In the end, I shrugged as I didn’t trust what would come out of my mouth. I had started to gather more negative feelings against the boy as the days were going by. Somehow I had gained a fully fledge enemy and therefore, I couldn’t imagine that the boy had any good points about him.

Just call me prejudice.

“We should be going to sleep now.” Scorpius told me. “It’s getting late and we have a long day of classes tomorrow.”

“I don’t feel sleepy.” I protested even though my cold bones ached and my eyes were growing heavy.

Scorpius raised his eyebrow. “Really?”

Instead of answering, I yawned.

Damn you body.

“Fine, I give in.” I took Scorpius cloak off and placed in his hands. I then headed towards the dorms but before I disappeared and I turned to him. “Good night.”  I never waited for an answer as I strolled up the stairs, suddenly feeling very cold. I entered the dormitory to find that everyone was asleep. I glanced as Cassie, whose hair was becoming larger by the second. She’d have fun trying to control it in the morning. I changed into my pyjamas, brushed my teeth, washed my face and crawled into bed. I tossed and turned in bed for a little while, feeling restless at the state of my life but eventually I fell asleep.

I woke up in a state. The sleep I had just got was anything less than refreshing. I had dreamt that I fell off a cliff and I watched my funeral from hell. Damien was laughing and took up residence in my room because it was slightly bigger. The utter twat. I pulled back the drapes and looked out the window. It was pitch black still. I sighed as I climbed out of my bed and grabbed my cleaned supplies. I walked down into the common room to find it empty.

It was perfect.

I took out all my supplies and began cleaning the cupboards that were in the common room. I felt slightly better with each scrub, like I was also cleaning away all marks and stains from my life story.

“Nice pyjamas.”

I jumped in the air since I wasn’t expecting anybody. “Holy cow.” I yelled as I turned to face the person who had almost given me a heart attack. Albus Potter stood there in crumpled clothes, tired eyes and smirking lips. “It always has to be you don’t it?” He just shrugged. I looked down at my pyjamas; they were black with a lot of yellow smiley faces on them. Cassie bought them for me when I was really grumpy one day.  “What do you want?”

“I obviously couldn’t sleep.” He shrugged as I carried on with my cleaning. “Why do you clean everything? It’s weird.”

“Everything looks better when it’s clean.” I didn’t even look up. I didn’t want to talk about it because the memory of when the obsession first started would surface and I tried not to think about that too much. “It’s better when it’s perfect.”

“I personally like the flaws.” He ran his finger over my clean surface. “It makes it different from all the generic shit that is around these days. You can’t have the same exact flaw twice.”

“Flaws do not make anything. Flaws only hinder.” I argued as I scrubbed the place he had touched.

“Perfection doesn’t exist, you know.”

“It must do somewhere. If it doesn’t, well, that’s just depressing.”

“That whole statement is depressing.” He countered and I found myself frowning.

“I don’t like being part of a messed up generation. I mean, people went through so much with the war, yet somehow they managed to stay sane.” I stopped scrubbing for a moment as I pondered my thoughts. “We’ve had an easier ride yet we seem more messed up. How does that work?”  I don’t know why I was letting him understand a little about the way my mind worked.

“That’s life.” Albus laughed. “Just because things are different doesn’t make it any less hard. We have to put up with a lot of crap that they didn’t.”

“Like what?” I couldn’t believe we were having somewhat of a civilized conversation. We were still disagreeing but we weren’t yelling at each other. I didn’t like it. He was going to be impossible to figure out.

“Take Scorpius for example, he still gets a lot of crap from people judging him due to his fathers Death Eater past. Someone actually called him scum the other day.” He laughed bitterly and I couldn’t believe it. “I mean, he hasn’t really got a bad bone in his body yet he has to pay for his father’s mistake. It’s not really fair is it?”

“That’s stupid.” I strangely agreed. “I understand that too. My granddad is a Death Eater and because of that we have house checks.” The house checks was something that got forced in to place after the war. Basically Aurors come to check out our home every few years to see if we’re harbouring dark arts crap and planning on becoming the next dark lord. It’s stupid but we’re not trusted. We never will be even though we don’t dabble in that crap. Scorpius has to have his home checked too. “But it also works the opposite way. I mean, you get to reap the rewards because of your father don’t you?”

I didn’t see anything wrong with my words but they caused a switch to turn inside his brain. He scowled at me. “What the hell would you know about it?” I just sat there, trying to find a witty comeback. “You’re just like the rest of them.” That stung me harshly. “You don’t know anything.” He shook his head. “Good bye, Nott. Have a pleasant night.” He stormed off leaving me in the common room feeling more confused than ever.  Maybe he was right. Maybe I didn’t know anything right now but I had a feeling I would understand someday because I had a strange feeling that this confusion wasn’t over, it was only the beginning.


 






The Next Time On The Human Factor

In a universe that was ever changing, one thing hadn’t shifted; Damien still refused to look at me. He was sitting on the Gryffindor table, laughing with some girl I didn’t know the name of. I had distracted myself by threating to kill someone with a spoon earlier. She came up to me and asked if Albus and I were in a relationship as we’d be seen on a ‘double date’, in the halls. I’m just thankful that out night time yelling was a secret between us. To be fair, I respected her guts to actually ask me but that didn’t stop me from wanting to kill her. Then again, in terms of looks, I look harmless, less than harmless really. I had inherited delicate features to snare myself a pureblood husband according to my mother but that is another story. So I threatened her with my spoon, told her I’d break her with it and the answer was no, I wouldn’t touch him even if it was the choice between that and being a pleasant person. She looked at me like I was weird, muttered ‘I thought not’ and ran away from me. I had gone up in the world, I was now part of scandalous gossip.

 


Chapter 11: The One Where Secrets Are Revealed
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Disclaimer: I don’t own anything.

Authors Note: I start college this week so I’m unsure how often updates will be but hopefully they won’t take too long! Chapter 12 is already half written. Thanks for all your support. Thanks for reading and thanks for the people who have told me that they like this story. This is for you. Comments and opinions are welcomed because…well, you’ll see. Remember to keep the language 12+ otherwise they’ll have to get deleted! Also bad language is used because a character gets angry, don’t read if offended!

Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my beta.






Chapter Eleven –
The One Where Secrets Are Revealed      




Amazing chapter image made by  .asperity@TDA

“What the bloody hell have you just got us into?” - Pippa Nott




I have a tiny scar on my wrist from when I accidentally cut it on glass when I was twelve. I used to stare at it a lot as it healed and pondered how ugly it was. It was a blemish on my pale skin that was otherwise in good condition. I told my brother how I felt, that I was worried that I wasn’t perfect anymore. My brother laughed, he told me I wasn’t perfect because I was a person. He told me nobody was perfect. He later came to believe he was nobody. The body wasn’t made out of metal; it was flesh, bone and blood that flowed too easily. He told me that scars were little reminders of the past. They showed you that you survived the fall out and the pain. He told me that there were two types of scars; the ones that you could see and the ones you couldn’t. The ones you couldn’t see were often the worst. I wondered about the scars on my heart, I was still trying to figure out how to help them heal. If they finally closed, I decided I would never want to remind myself of how it felt. I would never go back to that place but I didn’t want to forget that I survived everything either. He had taught me many lessons, I could stitch myself together in seconds and I could swim in a sea of sadness and make it look like I was staying afloat.

In a universe that was ever changing, one thing hadn’t shifted; Damien still refused to look at me. He was sitting at the Gryffindor table, laughing with some girl I didn’t know the name of. I had distracted myself by threating to kill someone with a spoon earlier. She came up to me and asked if Albus and I were in a relationship as we’d been seen on a ‘double date’ in Hogsmeade. I’m just thankful that our night-time yelling was a secret between us. To be fair, I respected her for actually asking me but that didn’t stop me from wanting to kill her. Then again, in terms of looks, I look harmless, less than harmless really. I had inherited delicate features to snare myself a pureblood husband according to my mother but that is another story. So I threatened her with my spoon, told her I’d break her with it and the answer was no, I wouldn’t touch him even if I had a choice between that and being a pleasant person. She looked at me like I was weird, muttered ‘I thought not’ and ran away. I had gone up in the world again; I was now part of scandalous gossip. I had been here a few times and I still didn’t like it.

“He’s not worth it.” Cassie stated and I pretended not to know what she was going on about. She rolled her eyes. “If he’s going to be a big idiot about everything, it’s not worth bothering about.” She took a bite out of her toast and swallowed it. “I mean one day he’s going to wake up alone and you are-“

“-Also going to suffer the same fate?” I sipped my orange juice as Cassie frowned at me before flicking me in the forehead. “Anyway, I don’t care. I really don’t.” We both knew I was lying. There is a difference in getting over things and just getting through them. “Look the post is here!”  I pointed out as the flutter of owls flew into the great hall. A letter dropped into my lap. A proper letter unlike the pathetic notes I kept on receiving lately, telling me to watch myself. I opened it carefully before pulling out the letter.

Dear Pippa,

How are you finding playing Quidditch? I hope you’re enjoying it. Does your broom work alright? I tried to get you the best one on the market, anything for you my little weirdo. I have some brilliant news to share with you! Your mother and I have decided to renew our vows to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! It’s going to be in the holidays around new years. We thought it would be a good time to celebrate it as neither you nor Damien attended the first time because you didn’t exist. Your mom wants to ask you if you’d be her bridesmaid. She’ll write to you soon to talk about dresses and other girlie stuff like that. Tell Cassandra that she and her family are invited. I hope you’re okay and tell Cassandra I said hi! Scorpius has been telling his father that you’ve grown closer recently! I was really happy to hear that as you need someone to help you fight your demons.

Love,

Dad.

I crumpled the paper in my hands into a small ball before rolling it in my palm for a little while. I then realized what I was doing, I unrolled it, straightened it the best I could and placed it on the table. “So, my parents are renewing their stupid vows.” I told Cassie who suddenly was overcome with excitement. “You’re invited, along with your family.”

“Oh my gosh! You’re mom showed me pictures of her wedding and it looked amazing! You reckon it’s going to be as fancy as last time?”

“There will probably be crystal, ice and I’ll look like a puff pastry.” I rolled my eyes, not feeling the joy of the situation that I was supposed to be feeling. “My parents are already married, why do they have to go and do it all again?”

“Because they love each other?” Cassie suggested.

I snorted. “Love? That isn’t a proper reason Cassie. Love is there to torture and break, it isn’t something that should be celebrated.” I grumbled and Cassie snorted. We’re very classy girls. “Life is short, too short to do something that you’ve already done before. I mean, especially something as depressing as a wedding.”

“Weddings are wonderful. I love everything about them.” Cassie went goo-eyed as the romantic in her poured out. Her romantic side always left a sour taste in my mouth. “I like the vows, the dancing and the food, especially the food!” She rubbed her stomach with glee.    Cassie firmly believed that one day, it was all going to slot into place, like placing the last piece of the puzzle into a jigsaw. The perfect someone was out there for everyone. I thought that maybe, you shouldn’t look for the perfect someone. Maybe you should just look for the one that you could put up with for the next hundred years. “I’m really excited! Your parents are making you bridesmaid right? I hope they put you in green, you’ve always looked good in green but not yellow because you’re not a very yellow person.”

“I sometimes wonder if we were switched at birth.” She was excited about this whole stupid thing and I was already beginning to dread it. I’d have to walk down some fancy decorated aisle, as I pretended to be everything I wasn’t. Everything I was fighting against. I would look like the perfect daughter who had it together. People would be staring at me and they would be most certainly judging me. The whole thought of it made me want to be sick.

Cassie smiled at me. “I wonder that sometimes too.”  Cassie downed her coffee in one. “What do you want to do on this lovely Saturday morning?”

“It’s raining.” I told her.

“So?” She shrugged.

“I was planning on reorganizing all my stuff.” I shrugged. “What were you planning on doing?”

Cassie sighed frustrated. “I want to go on an adventure!”

“An adventure you say?” We both turned around to find James smirking at us with Fred standing by his side like a little sheep. Cassie grinned as I mentally prepared for the fools plan. Whatever it was, I didn’t have a good feeling about it. “You should join us.”

Fred laughed. “You really won’t want to miss it.”

Cassie looked interested but tried to act casual. I think she’s pretty much mastered it. Lucky cow. I can probably turn any situation awkward though so life isn’t a complete fail. “What’s happening?” She faked a yawn like she was bored. James and Fred believed her because they straightened up, ready to fight for her attention and get her on board. 

“We’re going on a little mission.”  Fred grinned wickedly.

“And you’ll love it. Come on Cassie, if you agree to go, so will Pippa and then we’ll have a full team and-“

“I’ll have you know, I have a mind of my own.”  I interrupted feeling offended that they thought I was sheep like. I am a snake! I hiss to my own beat.

Fred raised an eyebrow at me as he leaned closer. I wondered if the boy had ever heard of personal space. I’m guessing not. “Yes, but your thoughts are muddled. You’re going to spend the whole day reorganizing your already legendry organized things.” He patted my head. “Sweetie, that just isn’t healthy.” I glared at him. I was perfectly odd in that normal way. “Come on, I know that curious part wants you to come.” He smiled at me and I felt the allure of Fred Weasley drawing me in. He was like sweetness that I couldn’t resist. Excitement was etched on his face and there was a promise of adventure in those dark brown eyes. “Plus, James accidentally invited Scorpius and you’re the only one who can control him properly.”

“I don’t control Scorpius.” I told him. I had this sickening urge to protect him but not to manipulate him, which was weird as I always liked to be ten steps ahead of everyone and to get there, a little bit of control and persuasion had to be applied. It was a flaw that I couldn’t control. People are capable of anything; I have learnt that the hard way.

“I didn’t mean it like that, he just listens to you.” Fred ruffled my hair. “Life is for living strangely enough. It’ll never get better if you just sit there, watching. ” Fred stared directly into my eyes. I rolled mine, trying to break the connection but I couldn’t. I was trapped, listening to him sprout his words of crap at me. This was hellish. I hated advice almost as much as people. Advice was useless, no one ever listens to what you tell them, yet they still whine when everything blows up in their face, just like you warned them it would. Fred trailed his fingers through his hair. “Are you game, Nott?”

I stared at him for a few moments before looking at Cassie. She winked at me. She wanted to do this and she wanted me to join her. It didn’t matter if I agreed or not, I was going on this stupid adventure. She would drag me kicking and screaming. The girl had a will of steel. I was worried because I didn’t have adventure in my bones, I had caution. I would never be the person who dived into a situation before thinking of the consequences. That is called being stupid. 

“I still don’t understand what I’m agreeing to.” I sighed, giving in. I mean, what ever these boys have come up with, it can’t be too bad right? “But I am in, I suppose.” James and Fred smirked at me like they knew this was going to happen all along. Stupid twats. “Though if I die, tell my parents it was all your fault and don’t let anyone touch my stuff. Keep it like a shrine.” I stood up. “It’ll be a place where you can weep when missing me gets too much.” I told them grumpily.

James raised his eyebrow, Cassie sniggered and Fred just looked amused. Not one of them looked upset about my hypothetical death. I understood though because sometimes it’s hard to show your true emotions. I almost laughed at my own joke. Most of the time, my head was a nightmare to be trapped inside. These moments of nothingness were a blessing.

“You’ve thought about this haven’t you?”  Cassie asked. She looked a little scared and I think she had every right to be. She doesn’t think about things like that, she doesn’t even think about tomorrow but it is okay.  I mean, I think the sun and the moon must not understand each other some of the time so we were perfectly normal to occasionally look at each other and remind ourselves how odd the other one is.

I shrugged. “I have a lot of time to waste when you’re sleeping.” I also thought about food, animals, random crap and how great life will be when I can finally escape this castle.

“Right, we’re getting off track.” James pulled the subject back to our soon to be adventure. “Meet us back here in an hour. Don’t wear anything bright, think like a spy and think the colour black! See you then!” he told us before grabbing Fred and running out of the great hall like crazy people. Those boys could never be spies because idiot runs in their veins.

That’s when I turned to Cassie, glaring at her before asking, “What the bloody hell have you just got us into?”

“Something you can’t figure out.” She laughed before standing up. “What are you waiting for? Let’s go and get our freak on.” I rolled my eyes at her but I got up anyway and followed her to the dormitory. Once in the dormitory, Cassie began to rummage through her clothes, once she decided that whatever garment she had wasn’t for her, she would chuck it on the floor. Of course, I couldn’t stand the mess so I was going around picking up all the discarded, unloved clothes, folding them up and placing them on her bed. “I have nothing to wear that’s dark! I suppose this t shirt is black, but it has a butterfly on it? Could that work?” She held it up.

“I just can’t believe you have a t-shirt with a butterfly on it.” I told her. “I’m disgusted.” I placed another pile of perfectly folded clothes on her bed.

“Okay.” She chucked the top onto the floor. “Lemme see.” She rummaged for a little while. “How about this?” She held up black tank top and a pair of black jeans.  She was obviously taking James advice.

“That works.” I shrugged, as I looked through my own stuff. I realized that I owned too many dresses. You could tell that my mother still buys my clothes for me. I owned dresses, skirts in various pastel shades but I didn’t own trousers. I had never noticed how much my clothes sucked before. No wonder no one took me seriously when I owned a cardigan in the shade of lilac. “Strangely enough, I own too many colours too.”

Cassie grinned as she walked over to observe my findings. “Your mom sure does love pastel.”  Cassie held up a pair of camouflage shorts.  “Chuck one of your girly belts around these so they’ll stay up.” She eyed the rest of my clothes and picked up a white tank top. “Go get changed!”

I emerged a little while later in my outfit to find Cassie smearing black lines across her cheeks. Her hair was in a ponytail. “What are you doing?” I asked, but she said nothing. She just walked over to me and smeared the gunk across my cheeks and placed a black beanie on my head.

“This is what they do in the movies.”

I sighed. “You ready to go?”

She saluted me. “You got it Rodger!”

I blinked. “My name is Pippa. You should know that by now. I’ve never been called Rodger.”

Cassie smacked her own forehead. “Never mind…Pippa.”

I decided to let it go as we headed back down to the great hall. People were giving us weird looks so I glared at them all as Cassie didn’t even notice. I think it might have been better if I had just gone with something from my pastel wardrobe after all.

We arrived to find James and Fred already waiting there. Both all decked out in black. For some reason, they had black gunk across their cheeks too. James had his wand tucked behind his ear and Fred hummed an annoying tune, as he stuffed various coloured interesting things into his backpack.

“What you got in your backpack?” I asked. Fully expecting things that could be used to protect, hurt and save us from any unexpected danger we might come across.

“Mostly I’ve just got sandwiches.”  Fred replied.

“Sandwiches? You’re bringing food?” I asked, fearing that this would be my last adventure because I would be coming back dead.

Fred shrugged, looking confused. “What else would I bring?”

“I don’t know, maybe something that would help us if we got attacked. You know the crap that everyone always brings.”

“We’re witches and wizards, that stuff isn’t needed.” He laughed. Oups, I forget that sometimes. He pulled out his wand from his pocket. “Remember one of these?” He twirled it in his fingers. 

I pointed to my boot. “It’s in my sock.” 

Just then Scorpius came running towards us, followed by a moody Albus. I was surprised that Albus had even bothered to come but I didn’t think about it for too long because I finally noticed what Scorpius was wearing.  Scorpius was wearing a top hat and a cape. I put my hand in front of my mouth to stop me from laughing unfortunately; Cassie wasn’t as tactile as me. 

“What the hell are you wearing?” She asked before she started laughing. “You look like a vampire, not a spy.”

Scorpius shrugged. “Vampires are dark. The theme was go dark. Am I missing something?” Cassie just raised her eyebrow. “And I can’t help it if I’m pale. It’s my natural colour and the sun makes me feel like I’m melting.”

James laughed. “Just lose the hat and we’re good to go.”

Scorpius sighed. “The hat was my favourite part.” He stuffed the hat in a corner. “I hope no one steals it.” He smiled, cheerily. No one would steal that hat. It’s far too ugly. And no one wears top hats anymore. “I’m keeping the cape though.” No one argued with him because he’d probably cry if you took away both and no one wants a weepy Scorpius.

I finally glanced at a sullen Albus who had arrived in his normal, slightly crumpled clothes. He caught me looking at him and I quickly stopped and stared at the floor instead. I heard him snicker.

“So what’s this all about anyway?” Cassie asked.

“Nathan Morgan is up to something.”  James stated. “And it’s our job to find out what. We’re going to spy on him.”

Cassie rolled her eyes. “I don’t know why you all hate him so much, I can think of hundreds of people that are ten times worse than Morgan.”

“I thought you didn’t like him.” I pointed out feeling confused. If she didn’t like him, why would she stick up for him?

“I don’t.” Cassie shrugged, “He just hasn’t done anything to make me hate him personally.”

Fred shook his head. “Morgan is trouble.”

Cassie laughed. “People could probably say that about us too.”  That was true. I had bad news plastered on my forehead because I had managed to mess up everything that I had ever been given.  Cassie was known to accidentally break up relationships when her niceness is taken as her flirting. Scorpius needed to be watch because his dad was a Death Eater. Fred could make you fall in love with him but he’d never love reciprocate. James was always after the next adventure and he never looked back. And Albus was like a hurricane that only ever left devastation behind because nothing good could come from him.  

“Let’s go then?” I suggested because the air had grown slightly dark around us. Everyone agreed and we began following James. “Where’s Damien?”

James stopped for a minute, turned to me and shrugged. “I have no idea.”  I thought this was odd because James and Damien were as close as anything but I also knew that Damien was being a complete twat at the moment. James began walking again with a slight thud in his step. “We’re checking the library, look like you belong there.”

“I have never stepped into the library in my life.” I told him. “There are too many dirty books lying around. I mean, think about how many people have touched them and the amount of germs that each book harbours. It’s enough to give anyone a heart attack.”

James arched one of his eyebrows. “You’re weird.”  We had arrived at the library but before we could go into the dreaded place, James decided to give us our instructions. “Let’s split up and meet here in fifteen minutes.” All of us nodded before entering germ heaven.

It was dimmer than I expected. Thousands of books lined the shelves. There were different sections dedicated to magic that I would never bother to learn. It was massive. I looked around to find that everyone had already left me. I spotted Albus just sitting at a table reading a book. I rushed over to him. “You’re supposed to be working.” I scolded. “Not sitting around here doing nothing.”

Albus rolled his eyes. “I’m pretending to read. It is a lot easier to pick up information when I look normal rather than lurking in the shelves like Scorpius.” He pointed to Scorpius, who was trying to look normal, but just ended up looking creepy because he had a suspicious look on his face. “I’m taking this totally seriously.”

“Do you know why Fred, James and…Damien hate Morgan so much?” I felt stupid for asking but I really wanted to know.

“Yep.”  He said simply. “I know a lot of things, including the reason why my brother will never be sipping tea and having a jolly good time with Morgan.”

“Aren’t you going to elaborate?” I asked.

“Nope.” He didn’t even look up from the dirty book.

“Why the hell not?”

“Because you don’t need to know.”

I huffed as I sat down. “Fine, be like that. I won’t tell you any of the secrets I know then.” I was being childish, but I couldn’t help myself. He was giving me nothing for once and that pissed me off. If I wanted attention, I got it.

“You don’t know any secrets, Nott.” He told me.

“How would you know?”

“Because you’d have to know people to get them to tell you their secrets and you don’t even know half of the names of people in your class.” He yawned.

“I might know their name if they weren't so boring,” I muttered. “Anyway, I do know secrets.”

“You know nothing Nott so just kindly shut the hell up right now.” He said it without a hint of nastiness which was quite simply scary.

“Cassie drools.”

“I don’t care.”

“Damien is afraid of wasps.”

“I don’t care.”

“Scorpius once got slapped by a fish.”

“I don’t care.”

“Lily went on a date.”

“I don’t-” He realized what I had said and I suddenly became interesting to him again. “What did you say?”  It seems that Albus actually cared about what his little sister got up to.

“Just that Lily went on a date.”

“And?”

“Well, wouldn’t you like to know?” I teased, but truthfully, I still knew nothing because I hadn’t managed to talk to Lily yet about how her part of my plan had gone. I only knew it had worked and I was thankful for that.

Albus eyed me with a suspicion. “How do you know this?”

“I set them up.” I grinned at him like the happiest person on earth as he became the angriest. I sure did love having power over people.

Albus breathed in deeply as he checked his watch. I felt the jealously rise in me. One day, I would steal that watch. “The times up.” He chucked the book on the table. “This isn’t over Nott.” He strolled over to the entrance to the library where we were meeting. I sighed before joining him. We only had to wait in a few seconds of awkward silence before everyone started to turn up.

“So” James said. “Did anyone find him?” We all shook our heads. Morgan wasn’t in the library. “Dammit.” James cussed. “Okay. Did anyone learn anything interesting?”

“The rumour mill is in overdrive.”  Fred muttered.

“I learned that Fred likes jam on his toast.” Scorpius shrugged. “And there is a girl called Penelope who doesn’t like pineapple.”

James just nodded. “Anyone else?”

“Lily had a date.” Albus muttered.

“Holy crap. Lily? Lily! Our Lily!” James yelled. “It better not be with Damien because I know she ‘loves’ him,” He made air quotes over the word love. “But he’s too old for her.” Poor Lily, she’d be crushed if she finally understood that her dream of dating Damien was just that, a dream. “I told her she’s bloody banned from boys until she’s fifty after that all crap happened.” She also wouldn’t be pleased with that fact either. “Do you know who it is?”

“The old Slytherin seeker.” I muttered. Albus just stared at me, looking at me like I was the most disgusting thing he had ever laid eyes on. He’d figured it out. He knew I had used his sister and the very thought made me a monster in his eyes. He wasn’t going to let this go. He was going to try and destroy me. I could see the hatred in his eyes because he said nothing and that was the worst part. I could stand someone screaming at me but I never could stand silence.

“That twat!” James cussed.  We stood there in silence as everyone tried to digest the information and I tried to forget that Albus hadn’t stopped looking at me. He gave me a knowing smirk. “I can’t believe she’s gone and done that after everything, after-“ James stopped speaking. He had almost revealed a secret. I was curious to know what is was but I knew that this was not the time to be pushing it.

“I think I know where we can go.” Albus spoke. “I think I know where Morgan is.”  We followed him silently. “I know he goes to this place to gather his thoughts.”  We walked for a little while until we got to the edge of the forbidden forest.

“I can’t see anything interesting.” I muttered.

Scorpius nodded towards the silhouettes of two people in the distance that I hadn’t noticed before.  I blinked several times because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I felt goose bumps cover my skin like a rash, the cold wind attacked my lungs and my hope evaporated. Damien was standing on the muddy grass and he was kissing the queen of the devils.

“Ah, what are the chances,” Albus tried to make himself sound genuinely shocked. “Damien also uses this place as well? Fancy that!” He tried to look innocent but I knew this was no accident. He smirked at me and I smirked back. I had finally found my match. Things were going to get ugly and bloody. It’s all downhill from here and I couldn’t wait for the games to begin but first, I had to deal with my twathead of a brother.

“What the fuck is going on around here?” Cassie asked and for once, nobody had a single answer to give her.  It takes a lot for someone to render us all silent, but Damien had managed it without realizing. My heart broke a little more as I lost a little bit more my faith in Damien. He had betrayed me in the harshest way. I should have expected it really, but I was stupid. I actually believed in him.

I realized I was the idiot he called me in that hospital room as I stood there and watched my brother kissing the queen of the devils.













The Next Time On The Human Factor


“They don’t work on him.” She replied softly which made me think that she may have tried. Just when I thought I knew everything about her, she says something that takes me completely off guard. “Telling someone that they’re wonderful when they already think that doesn’t do anything but make you look like fool.”

I eyed her suspiciously. “What are you trying to tell me?”

She smiled at me and shook her head. “Nothing.” She whispered before kissing me on the forehead. I knew something was there, but I didn’t push it, I let it go because it was her. “But we have to sort this out.”

 


Chapter 12: The One After The Betrayal
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hey! How is everyone? Here is 12! I hope you like it. I already have 1000 words of chapter 13 written! I can’t believe we’re up to 12 already! I start college officially the 13th, but looking at my schedule, I should still have some writing time!

For all the people who nominated me at the dobby’s, you made my whole life. Pippa got nominated for best OC! Which was just one of the best things ever. Seriously, thank you so much for all your support. You make my day with each review you leave and I can’t thank you enough. Comments and opinions are always welcomed, but please remember to keep them 12+. I’m interested in what you have to say about all the latest developments! I hope you’re enjoying them.

Thanks so much for Steph_M for being my beta! 








Chapter Twelve-
The One After The Betrayal




Chapter image by the amazing zephyra.@TDA


“I’m not twisty.” - Pippa Nott






It was the moment where I finally understood the act of betrayal. Of course, I had felt it all before. The way the knife is stabbed in your stomach by someone you trusted with everything, the way the eyes become colder and the person becomes a ghost because I wasn’t the type to forgive and forget. I held grudges, sometimes they were justified but most of the time they were petty, but even arming myself with this information, I could still not let go.  This wound hit deeper than the rest I had received because it was Damien. I had shared my whole life with him. He was the one to pick me up whenever I had fallen. The name necklace he had given me when I turned eleven still hung around my neck. The chunky letters felt like fire against my cold skin. I hadn’t taken it off in five years but I suddenly felt the urge to rip it off and destroy it but I didn’t. I let the necklace hang heavy around my neck.

Damien had done one simple action but I knew my eyes would never see him the same way again. He was a shadow of his former self, someone I hadn’t see in a while. Everyone has their good and bad sides.  All of us have a monster that lives inside. Some of us choose to run from their monster but others like me, accept them with open arms. The blackness took over the whiteness and the grey is becoming murkier than ever. It’s hard to know what’s wrong and what’s right. Is something wrong even though you believed it? Is it wrong even though it made you happy?  Was I just over reacting? Damien always had a monster inside of him, which if I looked closely, I would have noticed was growing day by day. It was taking over him, maybe I could have helped but mostly I just thought that this was the way it was always supposed to be.

Damien was always going to betray me and eventually I would betray him because that’s the kind of people we were. Blood or not, we would trample over each other if it meant getting what we wanted.

And what Damien wanted was clearly Emilie Zabini. My past with her didn’t stop him. I had told him the whole story of me and her. He ruffled my hair, told me I was better than her and this was life. ‘People are crap Pippa’, he said, ‘And don’t you ever forget that’. He stared at me for a long time and I didn’t understand why but I do now. He was warning me that he wasn’t the hero person I had created in my head. He was human and he was going to disappoint me.  That is just life.

“I think I may be in a parallel world!” Cassie hissed. Her rage was strong and it would destroy anything in its path. Replying was useless, rage doesn’t understand reason. “Because I cannot believe your dipshit of a brother is kissing bloody Emile Bitch face Zabini.” When everything happened with Emilie, I wasn’t the only person who ended up hurt. Cassie was even more hurt than I was over everything. She was more passionate about her hate towards Emilie. She would pick petty fights and she would hide Emilie’s things while I chose to pretend Emilie didn’t exist.  The curses continued to fall out of Cassie’s mouth for another couple of minutes before the angry haze started to fade a little. “Right,” She stared at me like the others didn’t exist. “What are you going to do about it?”

“Me?”

“Of course,” Cassie had gone crazy. Maybe she thought that Damien had betrayed her too. “You’re his sister. You have the power.” She pointed to them. “You have to split them up.”

I couldn’t believe the amount of venom that was leaking through her lips. This wasn’t normal. I started to think that I wasn’t seeing the whole picture, just a small corner of it.

“That would require talking to him, which I’m not doing ever again.” I replied stubbornly. “And why do I have to do it?” I asked, even though the question was stupid. I knew why she had asked me.

Cassie raised an eyebrow at me. “You’re kidding right?” I shrugged. “Pippa, you always get what you want.” It was true but then I somehow manage to mess it up or I usually find I didn’t really want it after all. I was used to getting my own way. I was the only girl, so my parents gave into my every whim. I wanted something, so I got it. I wanted to get on the quidditch team so I trampled on several people to get there. Of course, it took effort, careful planning, manipulative and dirty tactics but it worked. “You’re manipulative.” I faked a gasp like I was really offended. I wish we weren’t doing this in front of everyone because they might have thought something good about me. I didn’t have a chance in hell anymore.  “Put it to good use and make everything right again.” Cassie was pacing, while Fred, James and Scorpius looked at her oddly. Albus just looked pleased. I wanted to kill him because in this twisted game, he didn’t just upset me, he had upset Cassie. But I had used his sister. So all was fair really.

I huffed. “Since we’re being honest and everything,” Cassie stared at me. “Why don’t you use your own powers?” She knew what I meant. Cassie was a shameless flirt. She would flirt with you, your best friend, your boyfriend and even your dog if it meant she could get ahead. Though now, I had come to believe that most of the time she didn’t even realize she was doing it. The little smile would come out and so would the gentle pat on the arm and the laugh that made you feel like you were the funniest person in the world.  She had split more couples up accidentally than she remembered.

“They don’t work on him.” She replied softly which made me think that she may have tried. Just when I thought I knew everything about her, she says something that takes me completely off guard. “Telling someone that they’re wonderful when they already think that doesn’t do anything but make you look like a fool.”

I eyed her suspiciously. “What are you trying to tell me?”

She smiled at me and shook her head. “Nothing.” She whispered before kissing me on the forehead. I knew something was there, but I didn’t push it, I let it go because it was her. “But we have to sort this out.”

I agreed because it’s her. “I’ll try and figure something out.” Cassie nodded before sitting on the floor. She glanced to Damien and Emilie in the distance and cursed again. I think it hurt her more because it was Emilie and Emilie royally screwed Cassie over. I turned to James. “Did you know about this?”

“No.” He answered honestly. “He was being a little distant lately, but I thought it was a phase.” James scratched his forehead. “He has never mentioned her before.” James and Damien were practically brothers in every aspect except blood. It must of stung a little bit for him to not know. He went out seeking a secret from his enemy and ended up discovering one about his best friend. He sat next to Cassie and sighed. He stayed silent for a moment before turning to Cassie. “Is she as bad of a person as you make out she to be?” 

“Yes.” Cassie laughed bitterly. “She is.”

James nodded. “Okay.”

The air was draped in a heavy silence for a while until Cassie broke it. “Is Nathan Morgan as bad as you make him out to be?” She asked.

“Yes.” James replied. “It’s bigger than petty teenage squabbles.”

“And are you sure he’s up to something?” Cassie drew pictures in the mud.

Fred walked over and sat next to Cassie. She glanced at him with blank eyes before returning her attention to the mud drawings. “We’re sure, we just can’t figure out what.”

Cassie smiled softly to herself. I always thought she looked her most beautiful when she smiled because it radiated warmth. It pulled you in. The badness disappeared and it was taken over by the good. But there was something broken about this smile. Even the most beautiful things can be broken.  Cassie was a warm person who didn’t really trust anyone but me, but no one really knew this. She played everyone well but in a different way than I did. She always seemed so happy and most of the time she was, I think. “I can help.” She whispered so quietly that her words were almost lost in the wind. “I have a somewhat fake friendly friendship with him. It shouldn’t take too much time to turn it into something deeper.”

James frowned at her. “Why would you do that?”

“Because someone has always got to lose at the end of the day,” Cassie told him while smiling sadly. “And for some reason, I don’t want it to be you guys.”  She shrugged.

“Thanks.” Fred answered, while looking at her with a different look in his eyes.

Scorpius sat down next to James.  “So what are we going to do?”  He looked up to me for guidance but I had nothing.

“Give me your cape.” I muttered.

Scorpius said nothing but handed over his cape.

I lay it on the floor and next to Scorpius. I sat on it. I felt like a genius because now I wasn’t going to end up with a dirty bum like the rest because the grass was soaking and wet. It’s the littlest things that get us through the day. Albus sat on the opposite side of the cape to me. I glared at him but he just shrugged. I decided not to argue with him. Look at me, I was being a grown up. I hummed for a while as Scorpius stared at me, fully expecting an answer and for me to solve everything. “Let’s just do this for a while?” I shrugged, feeling strangely comfortable. I knew if one more thing happened that I wasn’t expecting, I would freak out and want to run, but today, my mind was too focused on everything that had just happened, it couldn’t be bothered to focus on any of my issues. Plus people were being respectful. I still had personal space, I wasn’t sitting on dirt and no one was close enough to touch, so my arm wasn’t accidentally going to graze on someone’s.

So we all sat there in silence because words weren’t needed. The air was chilly but no one cared. This should have been weird, but it felt normal. Don’t get me wrong, I still hated people but sometimes, you’ve just got to go with everything that is happening.

The silence may have lasted hours or maybe it was only minutes. However long it was, Scorpius had decided that we had enough time to wallow. “Does anyone like my new socks?” He lifted his trousers to show that his socks had little ghosts on them.

Cassie laughed. “Very manly.”

“Seriously,” Fred shook his head, “Who buys your socks?”

“My mother.” Scorpius told them proudly.

James laughed. “That explains it.”

“Don’t insult me.” Scorpius huffed. “You still wear those brightly coloured jumpers with your initial on them.”

“Our Nana makes them.” Fred defended.

“She’d kill us if we didn’t wear them.”  James shrugged.  “We all get them.”

“I’ve never seen Albus wear them.” Scorpius pondered.

Albus smirked. “Mine stay in the bottom of my trunk.”

“That explains it then.” Scorpius nodded. “I’m so hungry, I may die soon. Shall we go?”

All of us stood up. I glanced to the direction of where Damien and Emilie were but I couldn’t see them anymore. They had left and I hadn’t even noticed. We all walked slowly back to the castle. Once we had entered the Great Hall, we offered each other clumsy goodbyes before splitting up.  It was the start of something, I was sure. Alliances were being formed and people had started taking sides.

It was weird. Fred hadn’t really talked to me before he shoved his offer of friendship in my face. James never ignored me but never saw me as anything more than Damien’s little sister. I couldn’t understand what the sudden interest in me was. Why I was suddenly worth the attention. I didn’t like it. I felt suffocated. I was being attacked by people from all angles. I couldn’t make Fred understand I was a bad person and I couldn’t even get rid of Scorpius. I had tried. I had tried to reject everything that boy has ever offered me. His niceness left bruises. It hurt that he was being kind to me when I didn’t deserve it.  It would backfire on him. I had always unknowingly protected him. It was built in my DNA. Protecting him was like breathing, I didn’t even I realize I was doing it.

I had always been protecting him from me but now he refused to back down. He wouldn’t be sheltered from anything anymore. He liked the monster I was. If he knew what was good for him, he’d run, but Scorpius was always on the dim side. I knew I would hurt him eventually. It was the unspoken rule. I hurt people. I’m too clumsy with people’s feelings. I didn’t want to hurt Scorpius feelings but I knew I would. It was something I couldn’t even try to change. I needed to push him away.

I needed to make him see.

But I didn’t know how to do that.

He was getting close and this needed to be stopped. Attachments are a liability. I had formed one and that would be enough. It had to be. But this force that connected me to Scorpius was like a magnetic field. I would try to yank myself away, but I was always being sucked into the field. It was almost like I belonged there. It was almost like it was right. But that is just plainly ridiculous. I clearly just needed to get a grip on everything again. I just needed to understand it all. My instincts were telling me something was very wrong with this situation.

“I’m going to go running.” I told Cassie who was shoving as much food down her throat as she could. It was a fetching sight. Cassie nodded before returning her attention to the food. I wondered whether she would carry out her promise to James and Fred. I couldn’t even fathom why she was doing it in the first place. She wasn’t getting anything from it so I couldn’t really understand it. I just had to sit back and watch it all play out.

I slid out of my seat and headed towards the quidditch pitch so I could run around it until my legs collapsed. I would run around in this stupid outfit. I didn’t care anymore.

It was darker than I expected it to be but the autumn nights were in full swing. It had gotten colder but I knew that wouldn’t matter once I started. I breathed in the fresh air as goosebumps appeared on my skin.

I started to run. I instantly felt better as I felt myself getting lost in it all. This was an instant release. It placed the puzzle pieces back into their slots after people messed the jigsaw up. It gave me a different kind of rush from cleaning. This was a carefree rush. The rush I got from cleaning was that everything was is order. It was so mechanical that I could clean something to perfection with my eyes closed. I was now a professional at order.

I ran faster.

I had issues. I always had. Whether I had to organize the way my food was placed on my plate to the way I always brushed my top teeth before my bottom. My whole life was made up of simple routine. Any jolt startled me. It began when I was little. It started that night.

Maybe if I ran fast enough, I could run from myself.

I stopped to catch my breath. This wasn’t working. The wheels in my mind wouldn’t stop turning. I needed something that stopped me from thinking. Something needed to kill the thoughts before they even sprang up in my sick mind. I felt nothing was strong enough to stop it all. It was too much for me.

I blamed Albus. It all changed after that stupid incident. I should have just turned away when I saw Albus and Scorpius whispering like girls. I should never have gotten involved. It was such a simple action but it’s managed to change everything that I had ever known. It’s shaken up my life so much that I barely recognized it anymore. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. My past life hadn’t expanded further than Cassie. But now too many players were joining the game. I didn’t recognize the game anymore. This would change; I would regain my grip on reality.

Screw it all.

“You look like a chicken when you run.” Albus appeared from no where. He always seemed to appear lately. The places that comforted me also provided comfort to him. It was messed up. I didn’t want to share anything with Albus. I needed some new spots that I could run too but this castle always felt too small to me. Too many students made the place feel crowded. I could never find a hiding place where I could truly disappear. I wanted to go to a place where my existence wasn’t even known. I just wanted to be another shadow in this castle.

I looked up to stare at him. He was a broken masterpiece. His crumpled clothes only added to the fact that he was clearly messed up. There was a demented look about him tonight. He had come seeking blood. He had come seeking mine. He wanted a fight. He was growing increasingly annoyed that I wasn’t responding. That I wasn’t giving him what he wanted. I felt the rush of power and it felt amazing. I almost felt alive again. Everything was right when I had power. The world still wasn’t normal but it felt almost familiar.

“Don’t watch me then.” I muttered. “It’s simple enough.” I wanted to leave it at that but I couldn’t help but defend myself. “And I don’t run like a chicken.” I tried to be graceful at all times. I mostly failed because graceful clashes with uptight. I would sit there rigidly until my body ached. I would always stand up straight because if I hunched a little, I lost inches that I needed so I didn’t look like a complete midget.

“You used my sister.” He stated.

“I asked her for a favour.” I shrugged.

“You used her.” He repeated. “You manipulated her.”

“Calm down.” I shrugged. “She isn’t damaged in any way.” I was nothing but nice in my manipulation. “And stop acting like you’re an angel. How long have you known about Emilie and Damien?”

Albus pondered it for a moment. “About a month? Maybe more. I lose track when I learn information I don’t really care about.”

“And you decided to forget about it until the time was right?”

“It was time you saw your brother for who he is.” Albus smirked and I closed my eyes. He had shattered my illusion of Damien. I would never forgive him for that. “He’s just another messed up person. Of course, he isn’t a complete loony like you. He still has quite a while to go until he gets to how twisty you are.”

“I am a perfect member of society.” I scoffed. “I’m not twisty.”

“A normal person doesn’t think about fucking everything up just when it’s starting to go right.” He saw my hesitation with Scorpius.  He knew something wasn’t right. He knew I was going to destroy it all. “Self sabotage is a pretty messed up thing.”

“It’s not self sabotage. I’m only making things go back to normal.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” He paused. “Oh, I forgot, you don’t sleep do you?”

“Go and have another nightmare.” I spat. “You act like you're better than me, it’s ridiculous.  You’re everything you accuse me of. At least I admit that I’m all these things but you just sit there in your perfect Potter world, where the girls fall at your feet and everyone thinks you’re amazing.” I was suddenly fuming; I couldn’t stop the words from falling out of my mouth. Albus just looked amused at my rant. “Wake up call, Potter, you’re not. I’m no angel, but neither are you.” He just smirked. “And from one twisty person to another, don’t pretend you’re anything more.” I made air quotes over twisty.

Albus laughed. “I never have.”

“I’m glad we’ve got that established then.” I didn’t spare him another look as I started to run again. I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me but the chains that weighed me down didn’t ease up.

 I had a feeling they never would.

 







The Next Time On The Human Factor

 “Pippa.” Cassie elbowed me and my eyes jolted open. “Listen!” We were currently sitting through another lecture by Professor Binns. I think someone should seriously make him pass over or he should go sight seeing and see all the things this crappy world has to offer. I mean, being cooped up in this castle can’t be good for anyone’s mentality, even if you’re dead. I’d go crazy if I had to stay here longer than I do.

“I don’t really care about History of Magic.” I shrugged, not even caring if Binns heard me. He hasn’t liked me since I threw that paper airplane through him in first year. “It’s boring.” I yawned.

Cassie pouted. “I think it’s interesting. I mean, today’s lesson is all about second wizarding war! I can’t wait until we get to the part of Voldemort getting delivered a smack down.” Her eyes went hazy as she daydreamed. Cassie likes this stuff because no one she knows was around to witness this stuff. Her family saw everything from the Muggle point of view and that was practically nothing compared to the wizarding world. She didn’t lose any family and she isn’t judged based on her last name. So to her, it’s all quite magical. In that sick, twisted way of course.

 


Chapter 13: The One Where Pippa Is Haunted By The Past
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 Disclaimer: I don’t own the song ‘My heart will go on’. That song belongs to Celine Dion. I also don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note – Hello! How are you all?

I have to thank you all to the people who nominated The Human Factor for a dobby! That is so amazing and I feel humbled that you like it that much. Also thank you to the people who have nominated Pippa for best OC! I put a lot of thought into her character and I really can’t thank you enough. Comments and opinions are always welcomed but please remember to keep them 12+ otherwise they’ll have to be deleted.

Anyway! I hope you enjoy the chapter! It gives you a lot of information about the ex boyfriend!

Thanks so much for Steph for being my beta




Chapter Thirteen-
The One Where Pippa Is Haunted By The Past



Amazing chapter image by Ayita@TDA


“Are you sure you’re a girl?” - Scorpius Malfoy



Sometimes when I close my eyes, it all overwhelms me. Memories come flooding in and regrets take a dagger to my gut. I often thought of him. I found it ironic that I had met a hundred people who never affected me and never tried to get close. Then I met him, a boy I didn’t even notice for a while and who managed to change my life. He managed to change me. I couldn’t decide whether it was for better or for worse? I still haven’t made up my mind on that one. I failed him. He failed me. We failed each other epically. We were what each other wanted but not what we needed. I needed someone who could play fire with fire and mange not to get burnt. He needed someone who wasn’t me. He needed someone who was kind and gentle. Someone he could control. For a while, I was unknowingly that girl but I fought back with vengeance and manipulated him until I was the one who controlled everything. He thought I was his pawn but I was the one who actually pulled all the strings.

My skin itched, as I was plagued by thoughts of him. My heart felt heavy and I was drowning. I was screaming but nobody was listening. I didn’t smile that much because if I did, I might start to show cracks. But my mind was a mess and I was slowly becoming unsure of everything. I wanted to forget, I needed to forget but it is hard to forget when people give you so many memories to remember. The best times I have ever had were locked in those memories. Those memories haunted me like a ghost that lived in my head and even the walls of this very building. These ghosts were everywhere. I sometimes worried that he had ruined me forever but everyone knew that I was damaged goods before he ever shot that sly look in my direction. It’s funny how people can leave your life, but stay behind in your heart.

That is just life.

“Pippa.” Cassie elbowed me and my eyes jolted open. “Listen!” We were currently sitting through another lecture by Professor Binns. I think someone should seriously make him pass over or he should go sight seeing and see all the things this crappy world has to offer. I mean, being cooped up in this castle can’t be good for anyone’s mentality, even if you’re dead. I’d go crazy if I had to stay here longer than I do. This wasn’t my home. It wasn’t my haven. It was simply a place I was stuck in most of the year.

“I don’t really care about History of Magic.” I shrugged, not even caring if Binns heard me. He hasn’t liked me since I threw that paper airplane through him in first year. “It’s boring.” I yawned.

Cassie pouted. “I think it’s interesting. I mean, today’s lesson is all about second wizarding war! I can’t wait until we get to the part of Voldemort getting delivered a smack down.” Her eyes went hazy as she daydreamed. Cassie likes this stuff because no one she knows was around to witness it. Her family saw everything from the Muggle point of view and that was practically nothing compared to the wizarding world. She didn’t lose any family and she isn’t judged based on her last name. So to her, it’s all quite magical. In that sick, twisted way of course.

“It’s all the same. Death Eaters bad, Order of The Phoenix good. Blah, blah blah. Eventually, Voldemort dies and then Death Eaters get thrown in jail or are killed if they are lucky and everyone gets their happy ending, if they aren’t dead of course.” I drew a happy face on my piece of parchment. “The end! It’s all pretty regular stuff.”

“How can you say that?” Cassie hissed, like she was offended. Sometimes I truly do not understand this girl.

“If you ever read the part in the book about my uncle or my granddad, you’d find it’s all the same.” I sighed. “We’re Slytherin, bad guys for life.”

“I refuse to believe that.” Cassie told me. “We’ve just had some pretty bad people on our team.” She told me firmly, the optimist in her shining through. I would have to stomp it out of her, cause misery loves company right? And this lesson was making me miserable.

“Bad? We’ve had one of the darkest wizards in history in our house. I think that passes bad, sweetie.” Cassie glared and I just grinned at her. “We explored this topic in third year. Why do we have to do it again?” I hated this subject. I really did. Last time we studied this, Scorpius got bullied quite badly and had to win over everyone again. I got so many dirty looks I lost count and enough insults to keep me going for life but I was tougher than Scorpius. The battlefield is my home and words that abused made up my whole language. Scorpius is popular, but his popularity is so fickle. People would turn on him if he showed one sign of Slytherin traits.

“I am so bored.” Scorpius whispered in my ear. I was sitting in the middle, between Cassie and Scorpius. I had tried to stop Scorpius from sitting next to me. I told him it was taken my by friend Joey. Scorpius just laughed and sat down anyway. Albus was sitting next to Scorpius, looking extremely bored. He was tearing up pieces of parchment into little bits. After he had created a little pile, he would pick it up and sprinkle it on the floor. It was really annoying me. He was making a lot of mess. “I can’t wait until we get to the part where my father tries to kill Dumbledore. That’s always my favourite.” He folded his arms and frowned like a small child who was just told no.

“Who the hell thought it’d be good to tell everyone the crap that went down?”  I muttered. 

“People got curious I guess.  It is our history. The war was a big deal.” Scorpius turned to Albus. “Did your dad ever make an official biography?”

Albus laughed. “Nope. That isn’t really my father’s thing. I didn’t know why everyone stared at him until I was a lot older.” He shrugged, as he continued to tear up the parchment. “I am so bored. I’ve heard these stories a thousand times, from my grandma to the random people in the streets.”  He was confessing again. I glared at him for no apparent reason other than the fact that I hated him. Albus just rolled his eyes and smirked at me. Those eyes that that held a deadness in them that I had never found in another but my own.

“Oh, Pippa!” I sighed before turning to Scorpius.

“What?” I ran my fingers through my hair.

“I heard your parents are renewing their vows.”

 I gasped like I was shocked. “What? They haven’t told me!” I pouted before rolling my eyes. “What about it?”

“Isn’t it great?” He said excitedly and I just shrugged. “Aren’t you excited about it?” He poked me.

“Nope.” I responded. “It’s not my wedding is it? Why would I be all excited?” I didn’t understand what the fuss was. It’s just another wedding. People would forget about it days later. Everything would return back to normal. Weddings don’t really change anything, it’s things like funerals that do.

“Are you sure you’re a girl?”  Scorpius asked.

“Hmmmm.” I made out like I was thinking about it. I swear Scorpius gets more stupid every single day. He’s going to need someone to look after him by the time he is twenty at this rate. “Yes, I think I am.” I flicked him in the forehead.

“Then why aren’t you excited?” Scorpius returned the flick in the forehead. I glared and chucked his quill on the floor. It was pathetic but it had filled the anger urge. “That wasn’t petty at all.”

I shrugged again. “It’s not like anything is going to change. My parents are already married.”

Scorpius thought about it for a moment. “I suppose you’re right.”

The rest of the class went without us talking. I drew Binns finally going towards the light on my parchment that was meant for notes. Albus went threw several rolls of parchment and the floor was a mess. Scorpius didn’t bother to pick up his quill. Cassie was the only good student out of us all. She took notes and listened. It was quite surprising. She hardly ever takes notes.  Scorpius and Albus left as soon as they could, but I was stuck waiting for Cassie who was talking to Binns about the damn war.

“Are you coming to dinner?” Cassie asked as she rubbed her stomach after she was finally done talking to the professor. She should really stop doing that otherwise a rumour will go around that she’s pregnant or something stupid like that.

“I’m not really that hungry today.” Cassie eyed me weirdly. The girl gets hungry, five minutes after she eats. I wasn’t built like that. “I’ll meet you back in the dormitory.” I had a letter to write to my parents anyway. I had forgotten that I had never replied to the one about the wedding.

Cassie shrugged. “Okay. I’ll see you later.” She leaned forward. “I have to work on Morgan anyway.” She whispered in my ear. She winked at me before she strolled away. I couldn’t believe she was actually going through with it. Cassie’s loyalty stretched to herself and me. It was weird because she wouldn’t get anything from it. I believed that no one would get anything from it. It would be a game where no winner would be crowned, but never less I was interested to see how things would turn out. I chucked my bag over my shoulder and began walking towards the Slytherin common room.

I was humming to myself as I strolled through the corridors. Then appeared my past; him. I dived behind a statue hoping for the world to swallow me up. I peaked around the statue and my breath hitched. He was everything I remembered and more. I tried to look anywhere but at him but I couldn’t. My mind was telling me to run before I did anything stupid or I ended up being hurt even more. My heart wanted to see him and keep me living in the past. He didn’t even notice me. I wanted to yell hello at him so he’d stop and look but I wouldn’t allow myself, even though it was what I wanted more than anything at this moment.  I watched as he laughed with his group of friends. I remember when he used to laugh with me. I still adored him endlessly. I could constantly think of the bad points of him but it wouldn’t change a thing. I would kill to be back in those arms of his, for him to hug me and kiss me. I knew I missed him but I had never allowed myself to realize how much I missed him. I watched him walking until he was out of sight. He seemed so carefree. He wasn’t hurting the way I was. This separation wasn’t tearing at him like it was me.

Suddenly everything was blurry again. I was back to square one and I was in pieces again. All the work I had done to put myself back together was useless. I had avoided him for this very reason. He went to dinner early, so I went to dinner late. He liked the library so I never ventured in there. I found my own places to hide that he would never even think off or even go near. Nobody did, except Albus bloody Potter.

I fell to the floor behind the statue as I held my knees against my chest.

It was funny, how much loosing someone stays with you. It was a constant reminder how much someone could hurt you, whether they are in your life or not. He haunted me everywhere. He was in my dreams when I slept and he never left my thoughts when I was awake.

I was too young to be tainted with all these emotions. I was meant to be living freely with no worries on my shoulders other than homework. I was meant to be obsessing about boys but I couldn’t see any boy in that way since him. If I could never see anybody in a romantic light, I would remain alone for life. There wasn’t a perfect person for me. Even he wasn’t it if I was honest. He wasn’t my perfect someone. He didn’t challenge me. I knew this, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t make anything I felt any less weak.

It was amazing how one simple look at him and everything I had built up crumbled. My stone walls were actually made of paper. He was the sea that washed away any good memories I might have thought of and he only left me with the ones that featured him. Those were ones that kept me awake at night. I didn’t think about the time Cassie fell into a puddle or the time Scorpius went on stage at a karaoke contest after I dared him while we were on holiday together. He sang something about how his ‘heart would go on’ while dancing. He ended up winning it all. Old ladies fell in love with him and kept on offering us boiled sweets. Scorpius ended up choking on one, I had to whack him on the back and he hasn’t touched a boiled sweet since. I didn’t think about those. Those memories stayed dead and the ones that came back to life were always the ones where he was my world.  The nightmares ate me from the inside out. The lack of sleep was showing on my weary body.

I held my face in my hands wishing for it all to go away. I had tried to put all my thoughts in a box but it wouldn’t stay shut because I had tried stuffing everything I had ever felt in it. It was overflowing. It wouldn’t stop. My thoughts were like a kite, I couldn’t control them properly and they always drifted off course.  

I hope he knows that he poisoned me.

He walked out and left me in the rain to rust slowly. My heart dropped when he left. It sank to the bottom of the sea. It’s still there because he is the anchor that keeps it pinned to the seabed. It would never arise again as long as he had this power over me. He wasn’t part of my life yet his magic kept working. I would lie there on the floor of the ocean, fishes would avoid me like a shark, the darkness would swirl around me but I wouldn’t move. I was rooted firmly. He was the only thing that could resurrect me. He could save me. He could rip the chains that were killing me and everything would be alright. But I knew it wouldn’t be like that. I wasn’t going to get my fairytale. I had always known this. My heart was too rotten. It couldn’t love properly because I embodied bitterness. I was everything negative that existed in the world. I was a complete mess that was just stumbling through life with my eyes closed from fear.  

I remembered everything about him. I tried to focus on his flaws but I still thought he was the most beautiful person in the world. There was no one in the world that could compare to him. I gave him my heart which was one of the most stupid decisions I had ever made. He gained control over it and I was powerless to resist the secret smile that I believed he had reserved only for me. I was an idiot. I was lost to love but now I was wiser. I knew that some people were only meant to stay in your life for a little while, that no matter how much you want them to stay, they will leave because they weren’t meant to fit in your life forever. Promises were broken. He was the King of broken promises and I was the Queen of self destruction. Together we made a pair that was never going be completely and utterly happy forever. We stumbled too much, I played too many games and he fell for them all. It wasn’t a match made in heaven but it wasn’t a match made in hell either. It was just a match. We weren’t meant to be together but it happened anyway. And I would forever be living in the consequences of that.

It was amazing how things changed so quickly. This time last year, everything was so different. I was different. I was still ‘twisty’ but I knew what happiness was. Now I wouldn’t recognize it. It had been too long. I had felt sadness for too long. It had become one of my closest friends. Being sad was as normal as breathing.

I would always be my own worst enemy. I would forever be punishing myself for the mistakes of my past. I believed I fully deserved to be punished. I had done terrible things and I still didn’t regret them. That is why I needed to be punished because I enjoyed the bad things I had done. I didn’t like to be nice. I couldn’t be bothered. Niceness was for the weak. Everyone who I had known that could be classed as nice had just ended up being used as a doormat. I was no doormat.

I had to move on. The only problem was that I just didn’t understand how. I was stuck and forced to live in my memories.  Even though I wanted to feel better, I also considered the very idea absurd. I didn’t know who I would be without my sadness. If you stripped me of that, I wouldn’t know who the creature was that would be left. I had no idea of who I really was, I just knew who I wasn’t.

I stumbled back towards the common room hoping to crawl into my bed and hide underneath the covers. It was dark now, I had been sitting on the cold, dirty floor for hours and I hadn’t even realized it. I didn’t expect to find Damien sitting in Slytherin common room alone. I stared at him unable to hide the disappointment I felt when I thought about him.  He looked at me broken eyes.

I opened my mouth to say something but he got there first. “Pippa.” He stumbled before he took a sharp intake of breath. “We need to talk.” He was going to explain everything. It was going to hurt in places and I couldn’t prepare myself because I was all drained out from seeing him.

I could only nod.

 








The next time on The Human Factor

“Then it’s overrated in my opinion then.” He shrugged before laughing and I couldn’t help but join in. I loved my brother. The love lurked in the deepest crevice on my heart surrounded by the shadows. Occasionally it crept out to breathe in the light whenever I allowed it to which wasn’t very often. I needed Damien to be in my life to be happy. Whenever I got back to happy that is. I was still a far away from that but I knew Damien was part of my future. He had to be. Even though I disliked a lot of things about him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He had to be part of it. Enchanting my life or messing it up; he just had to be a part of it. One day I was going to be happy. I just didn’t know how eventually I was going to get there. One day, he too would also be happy. He just needed to escape Emilie’s clutches first. 


Chapter 14: The One Where Pippa And Damien Talk
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hi! College is hard work so far! How are you all?

Thank you for all the dobby nominations. It means the world to me. I’d love to hear what you think or any theories you may have! Comments and opinions are always welcomed. Thanks so much for all your support!  I hope you have a great day and I hope you like this chapter! Please remember to keep reviews 12+ otherwise they'll have to be deleted. 

Please excuse the mistakes as this chapter has not been beta’ed.

 







Chapter Fourteen –
The One Where Pippa And Damien Talk



 Amazing chapter image by Rollerblades@TDA


“And that’s what makes everything worse.” - Damien Nott





I stood there being suffocated by the silence. The fact that I was about to be faced with the truth and that was daunting to me. Damien looked completely the same yet I didn’t know who he was anymore but my heart recognized him as someone familiar and I felt a rush of warmth towards the boy. I scolded myself as I destroyed whatever I was feeling and returned back to my numbness.  My numbness was just as familiar but my heart said nothing.

I had so many things I wanted to say and I didn’t know where to even begin. I opened my mouth and the words that fall out of my mouth were completely unrestrained. “You only bother with me when you want something.” Damien fell defeated into the corner of the settee and I smirked. I needed more time to prepare myself as I analysed the situation and I tried to think about all the outcomes that might happen but I couldn’t create a plan for anything that might happen because Damien always managed to take me off guard. The whole thing with Emilie managed to floor me completely that I didn’t understand whether I was coming or going. It messed up my whole outlook on life. I still didn’t feel right. Everything still felt wrong and tainted. “So what do you want Damien? Because I’m tired and-” I couldn’t help but go on full frontal attack. I knew I shouldn’t because this was a huge step for Damien. He was putting someone else first. He cared enough about our broken relationship that he decided to seek me out to fix it. The world suddenly wasn’t about him anymore but I couldn’t help.

You’re tired.” He interrupted harshly. “I’m tired.”

He was going to turn it all back on him so I played my winning card. “That makes two of us.” I curled up in the opposite corner of the settee with my knees pressed against my chest. “I saw him today.” I whispered softly because saying it out loud meant he still existed in the real world and that he wasn’t part of my imagination that I secretly hoped he was. Being mad and living in pretend sounded great. I was inching closer to it every single day. I could almost touch the madness with my fingertips.  I felt I was going crazy with every single second that passed. I couldn’t wait until the madness would take over and I would finally be free. Madness has no time for worrying about the past, present and future. Madness simply created their perfect world and lived inside it. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t real. I was stupidly stuck in the horrifying real world right now. Where I couldn’t live in the world of my delusions and the pain I felt was all very real.

Damien stared at me with shock. He expected me to start breaking down at the mere mention of him like I used to. I was now better than that. I refused to cry anymore. I refused to cry at anything now. Crying was a sign of weakness and I was strong. I had to be strong as I walked with the weight of my past on my shoulders. I pretended I was made of stone because I wanted people to think I couldn’t be crushed but I’m actually crafted from fragile glass that could be easily shattered in the palm of your hand if you applied too much pressure. I stared at my shoes and awed at the perfection staring back at me.

“I lied before.” He told me and I looked up. His Gryffindor pride had already started taking a beating tonight. “I didn’t mean what I said in the hospital room.” I tried to hide my smirk but I failed because I didn’t really want to hide it. “I know you didn’t do it for attention. You hate people staring at you.” It made me feel like I was on display. It was one of the reasons I was not looking forward to the wedding amongst others. “You were just hurting and I was petty.” It seemed me and my brother finally agreed on something. It seemed wonders would never cease. Still though, it didn’t erase the hurt I had felt when he uttered all those things or the humiliation I felt because he had caused me to show my human side. “I’m sorry.” He told me and I shrugged. Sorry was just another word in the dictionary. It didn’t have more meaning than any other word in there. “When did you see him? What happened?”

Lately all we had distance between us and I didn’t know how to step closer. Damien was trying but it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. It should have made a difference but it wasn’t. I still felt like I was a ghost. I was too afraid to step an inch closer to him because I was afraid of him hurting me again. This thing with Emilie hit me like a hurricane. He had betrayed me and I knew I would never forget that. I knew myself enough to know I would never fully forgive him and let it go. I knew I would use it as a weapon in future fights. It would be my trump card that would make him feel bad every time. He hopefully would be part of my life still but now I knew I would always see him with my cold adult eyes and not my childhood ones that held so much innocence. I had always seen him as a person who would never ever hurt me but he had. He could explain everything until he had no words left and it wouldn’t change anything.

Damien couldn’t understand the way it felt to be hurt like I was because I had never hurt him like he had hurt me. The disappointment with him lay like a heavy weight in the bottom of my stomach. I tried to make myself seem as small as possible in the corner of the settee. The incident of today had already turned into something I wanted to forget.

“I was walking towards the common room and I saw him.” I bit my lip. “I hid behind a statue.” I laughed. “That’s pathetic isn’t it?” I was the epitome of pathetic when it came to him. I turned into a giant mess. I was struggling because he wasn’t part of my past as he was still such a huge part of my present. “He didn’t even see me, I wonder what would happen if he came up to me one day and actually spoke to me?” I pulled a little on the worn thread that tied us together to bring me closer him with my confession. The thread was delicate and frayed. It was close to breaking but something kept it whole. I wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was because at the end of the day, we were siblings. We were bound by law to love each other. Even if we were no longer part of each others lives.

Damien was just so easily to talk to because he was the first person I had uttered my first words to. He was my only friend other than Scorpius until I was eleven. I didn’t mix well with people. I was the weird child. I was awkward and I had already developed my distaste for people. My mother once took me to meet the daughter of a pureblood family she respected in my doll like dress. She dressed me up to be the perfect little girl and five year old me tried to play the part. It went wrong of course, I found the girl a little too whingey so I ended up pulling on her long dark hair. She also had this doll. This doll was perfection. It was a china doll with ruby red lips, wide bright blue eyes, the longest eye lashes I had ever seen and the curliest red hair.  I fell in love with it and I wanted it more than anything so I stole it. I managed to smuggle it out under the skirt of my puffy dress. It still sits proudly upon a shelf in my bedroom like a prized possession with all my other perfect dolls and I never saw the whingey girl again.

Damien smiled at me. “I’m sure when you finally do; you’ll be strong enough to deal with it. I know you can do it.” I didn’t believe him. I didn’t think I would ever be strong enough. Damien actually sounded like he believed in me and it was nice to know I had someone in my corner. It didn’t matter that the person in my corner was as fickle as the weather. “I’ve hated being mad at you.” He whispered. “I’ve hated not being able to talk to you.” I didn’t know whether he was talking about these past weeks or the past couple of years. I never questioned it. I just let it hang there like I did with everything. I thought he didn’t need me anymore because he never showed that he needed anybody but himself. It was different seeing a vulnerable side to Damien. I hadn’t even imagined that he felt anything less than confident everyday. Whatever this thing was with Emile, it had completely messed him up. I knew it was time to find out the truth; whatever it was.

“So,” I started. “Are you ever going to tell me about you and…her?” I couldn’t say her name out loud. “How long has this been going on?” I asked. I wanted to know how long I had been stupid.

“It began in summer.”

“Well that’s a bloody cliché isn’t it?” I laughed bitterly.

“I know.” Damien sighed. “I met her in the village.” I nodded, our house was set in the countryside but if you walked a few miles down the road, you would stumble upon a small muggle village. At the top of this village is its crowning beauty; Zabini Manor. The house had a colourful history much like its residents that lived there. “It was all innocent at first. She asked me if you were alright.” I snorted. She wanted Damien to turn around and say I was falling apart. It was true but I didn’t want her to know that. I hope he said I was fine. “I really liked her company. She made me laugh.” I frowned at him. “I ended up going to meet her everyday. No one noticed. You had locked yourself on room determined to give up on everything.” My self destruction was in full force in the summer. “Mum and Dad were so worried about you. You always seemed to have it so together and suddenly you didn’t.” I nodded. “So they poured all their attention to try to make you happy again that I was forgotten about.”

I could only shrug because I didn’t feel any sympathy. Damien usually took up so much of their time that there was never any left for me so it was all fair in my eyes.

“I met her everyday and slowly these massive feelings for her built and they started to crush me.” I knew that feeling well. “I kissed her and it was the most amazing thing ever.” He smiled at the memories as I felt disgusted. “But now everything is messed up and now I understand where you were coming from all summer because this love thing is shit.”

 “…You love her?” I asked shocked as I had never heard Damien say he loved anything except crumpets and cheese sandwiches.

“I think so.” He nodded. “And that’s what makes everything worse.” I understood because I had also fallen in love with someone I shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Someone’s whose path I had accidentally stumbled on. Emilie was the option that he shouldn’t have chosen. People like Damien should not be with people like Emile. I knew my brother wasn’t perfect but she was queen of the devils. Damien had needed comfort but he had sought it in all the wrong places. I suppose it could have been worse, he could have found it in the bottom of the bottle.

“Why?”

“Because she doesn’t love me.” There was raw pain in his voice that I struggled with hearing. “She doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. I am nothing to her while she is becoming my everything. She doesn’t acknowledge me in the halls…it kills something inside of me every time.”

“That’s what love is Damien. It's something that kills something inside of you everyday.”

“Then it’s overrated in my opinion then.” He shrugged before laughing and I couldn’t help but join in. I loved my brother. The love lurked in the deepest crevice on my heart surrounded by the shadows. Occasionally it crept out to breathe in the light whenever I allowed it to which wasn’t very often. I needed Damien to be in my life to be happy. Whenever I got back to happy that is. I was still a far away from that but I knew Damien was part of my future. He had to be. Even though I disliked a lot of things about him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He had to be part of it. Enchanting my life or messing it up; he just had to be a part of it. One day I was going to be happy. I just didn’t know how eventually I was going to get there. One day, he too would also be happy. He just needed to escape Emilie’s clutches first.

Damien and I sat in silence for a while.  

“I better go.” Damien said as he stood up. “I still have to talk to James.” From the look on his face, he was dreading it. I stood up yawning. My brother stared at me for a little while before coming over and he cupped my chin in his hands and he forced me to look at him. I stared into those dark blue eyes that were exactly the same shade as my own. For two people who came from the same parents, we truly shared nothing alike except for our eye colour. He was my opposite. He sought adventure and I needed stability but both of us managed to turn into hurricanes that wrecked things and both of us were just trying to find our way through life. I stared at Damien blankly. “You don’t smile anymore, Pippa.” I tried to think of the last time I smiled and I couldn’t. I usually never felt like smiling or when I wanted to smile, I would stop myself in fear of cracking into tiny little pieces and that the mask that I was hiding behind would fall to the ground and break. I could see myself inside his eyes and I hardly recognized the person.

“If you don’t give up then I won’t give up.” He smiled at me sadly. “It will eventually get better.” I could only hope that he was right. I thought he didn’t notice anything that I was going through but he noticed. He just didn’t do anything to help. I could either hate him for that or I could just accept it. In the end, I decided to accept it. “I’ve got to go now.” He kissed my forehead before strolling out of the common room and never looked back. If he did, he would have seen that I had already given up a long time ago.

I didn’t know how I felt about Damien now. I didn’t even know where we stood. Were we playing pretend okay now? Should I forgive him?  I had no idea anymore and this annoyed me. I needed to know where things were heading. I was never a fan of the unknown. I hated anything I couldn’t anticipate. I crawled back into the corner of the sofa and closed my eyes for a moment, hoping that when I opened them, everything would feel normal again.

Albus threw himself into the opposite corner of the sofa and I opened my eyes with a jolt as I had been expecting no one. I hadn’t even realized he was anywhere near. “That was a lovely chat wasn’t it?” He smirked. He had been listening. I should have known really. The boy’s power is in his knowledge of everything that goes on.

“Oh crap. It’s you.” I spat. “Why is it always you? If I had a choice between you and Voldemort, I’d pick him every time.” I glared at him before looking away. I was hoping that if I paid no attention to him, he would leave me alone because that’s what I wanted more than anything. I just needed to be alone. I only wanted to be tormented by my own thoughts; I didn’t want to be tormented by Albus.

Albus made himself comfortable.

“I really wish you’d go away.”

“I wish for better nights sleep. We don’t all get what we want, Nott.”

“Isn’t that a pity?” I shrugged. There were a lot of things I felt for him that I had never felt so strongly for someone else. I felt revulsion, hatred that made me physically angry, disgust and worst of all, I felt understood. He made me feel and for someone who dragged themselves through life numbly, it was terrifying. I was trying so hard to push these feelings away, but I had no chance. I never really did. I had to hold on whatever kept me floating and my hatred was that. It kept me warm when everything else had no effect. “I honestly don’t care what you do anymore. Sit there if you want. Don’t sit there. It’s all the same thing to me.”

“I’ll be blunt. I didn’t come here to discuss how the world goes around.” I rolled my eyes. “I want you to get to Lily to break up with Emmett.” Albus didn’t mess around.

“I’d love to but I have no desire to help you.” I smirked.

“I know who’s been sending you those weird notes. I’ll tell you who it is if you help me.” He offered and suddenly I was interested. I needed to know who was threatening me so I could destroy them. “What do you say Nott?” Whatever souls are made up of, it seemed that ours were from the same tree. The thorns that grew around my poisoned heart also surrounded his tainted heart of stone. “Are you game?”

I wanted to say no and run away, but I heard my mouth open and the word yes tumbled out.

I was so screwed because I may have just agreed to team up with the enemy. One day I might learn, it was just obviously today wasn’t that day. I was an idiot but I said nothing as I returned Albus’ smirk.

“I’m always game.”

I had a feeling that things were going to get very ugly.

Very ugly indeed. 




The next time on The Human Factor

 

“I don’t want to go.” I looked around, trying to find something that gave me an idea for an excuse. I had pretended to be ill in bed. It didn’t work because Cassie just pushed me out of the bed and poked me until I was irritated so I snapped that I wasn’t ill and I was going to kick her ass. I had also tried playing dead but I can only hold my breath for ten seconds until my lungs feel like they’re going to explode. I was running out of options and I  just may have to go. This is a disaster. I picked up one my school books. “Look, Cassie!” I pointed to my book. “I have homework to do! There are a billion of essays I have to write! I have spells to practise! I don’t have time to go to the sleepovers.”  I hugged the book. “I guess I can’t go then…” I pulled my sad face. “I’m so disappointed.”

Cassie snorted. “You’ve never cared about school work so don’t pretend you do now.” She snatched the book out of my hand and chucked it across the room. My book smashed against the wall like my dream of not going to this sleepover. She pinched my cheeks again. “I can see the fake in your eyes.”



Chapter 15: The One Where Pippa Is A Little Kangaroo
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hi! I’m sorry about the wait for this chapter. College sucks and sucks up too much of my time. It also kills my muse too.  This chapter is the build up to the next one. It would have been too long otherwise.

Feel free to tell me what you think about anything. The characters, who is your fav? Least? Any predictions for Pippa and co? Him may have shaken Pippa to the core for the last couple of chapters, but she’s back to her cunning little ways.

I must thank you all for the dobby. It means a lot to me! I was completely taken by surprise when I won and I cannot thank you enough. It just amazes me that you would like it enough to vote for it.

Please remember to keep any reviews 12+ please otherwise they’ll get deleted. I hope you enjoy this chapter!

This chaptered has not been beta'ed so please excuse the mistakes. 






Chapter Fifteen-
The One Where Pippa Is A Little Kangaroo



Amazing chapter images by Marzipan@TDA


“Shush, my little kangaroo.” - Albus Potter




“Pippa, you look adorable.” Cassie cooed as she patted my hair patronizingly as I snarled at her angrily. “You’re such a cuddly teddy bear.” She pinched my cheeks as I frowned at her.

“I am not a bloody teddy bear.” I huffed as I crossed my arms against my chest. “I’m a snake.” Cassie rolled her eyes. “I’m a big scary one who is angry and eats people like you for breakfast in one big gulp.”  I told her in my most angry voice. Cassie just smiled at me. I couldn't scare her even if I wanted to. 

“You are so adorable.” She pinched my cheeks again. I was seriously this close to hitting her. I looked ridiculous. Next to the definition of idiot is a picture of me. I was currently dressed in a kangaroo all in one sleep suit. It even had a baby kangaroo in the front.  I had tried to rip it out but Cassie had scolded me for hurting the baby kangaroo because it was my ‘baby’ and I was being a bad mother. The feet were too big on this damn sleep suit and I kept on falling over. I already had a cut on my forehead from hitting my head on the floor which I refused to let Cassie fix because I wasn’t a complete idiot, despite looking like one. Plus, I was boiling alive. Cassie seemed to be rocking her cow all in one sleep suit. It seemed to match her perfectly, I think it helped that she had been walking around the dormitory mooing and crawling on the floor pretending to eat grass.

“I am so excited.” Cassie sighed happily. “I feel like an actual girl.” She fluffed up her hair and pouted. “Lily’s sleepover is going to be the best.” Yes, Lily Potter was hosting a damn sleepover that I was being forced to go due to the deal with the enemy. Her sleepovers have gained a pathetic legendary status. I had received an invite a dozen times before but I had refused to go. I hated most of the girls in the school, why would I want to spend extra time with them? I reckoned Lily’s friends would be giggly and girly which was going to drive me insane. I had only seen them around and I didn't like the look of them. Plus, I was dressed as a bloody kangaroo. The sleepover theme was animals. Lily had ordered the outfits and Cassie had collected mine because I was too busy doing nothing.

“I don’t want to go.” I looked around, trying to find something that gave me an idea for an excuse. I had pretended to be ill in bed. It didn’t work because Cassie just pushed me out of the bed and poked me until I was irritated so I snapped that I wasn’t ill and I was going to kick her ass. I had also tried playing dead but I can only hold my breath for ten seconds until my lungs feel like they’re going to explode. I was running out of options and I  just may have to go. This is a disaster. I picked up one my school books. “Look, Cassie!” I pointed to my book. “I have homework to do! There are a billion of essays I have to write! I have spells to practise! I don’t have time to go to the sleepovers.”  I hugged the book. “I guess I can’t go then…” I pulled my sad face. “I’m so disappointed.”

Cassie snorted. “You’ve never cared about school work so don’t pretend you do now.” She snatched the book out of my hand and chucked it across the room. My book smashed against the wall like my dream of not going to this sleepover. She pinched my cheeks again. “I can see the fake in your eyes.”

I frowned at her. “I hate you.” I told her but Cassie only laughed.

“Sure you do.”

“I do!”

“Whatever.” Cassie looked at her watch. “It’s time to go.”  She smirked at me before grabbing my hand. She knew me too well. She knew I was going to try and run before even I did.

Stupid cow.

“You better have washed your hands.” I muttered and Cassie just laughed me. “I mean it Cassie.”

“Chill your royal highness, I always wash my hands, I’m not a tramp you know.”  She smirked and I laughed. This was coming from the girl who spilt her cereal down her top this morning. The top that also had a toothpaste stain. Then she refused to change all day because she wore her messiness with pride. If that isn’t a tramp, I didn’t know what is.  “In fact I probably wash them too much.”

I just beamed with pride as we strolled towards the common room. The common room was full of people but one of them stood out for me; Albus. He was staring at me and I squeezed Cassie’s hand to tell her to start running or something but she just looked at me oddly.  Albus was danger. The boy was a good for nothing but I was still wondering why those eyes were stuck on me.  Curiosity is a bitch. It would do me no good. Albus began strolling over and I was stuck.

Again.

“Nott.” He smirked as Cassie looked at me confused. Someone was seeking me out other than Scorpius, even I had to admit this was highly unusual. Also, this was Albus Potter, the boy who had it made and hated it. I was just the girl who refused to conform and treat him like a king.  I had more pride than that. “Can I have a word?” He was such a smarmy twat as he looked me up and down. Cassie eyed me suspiciously and I knew she would ask me about it later. I hadn’t told her about the times we had clashed in the common room in the dead of night. I didn’t think she needed to know because there wasn’t anything really to tell but she was looking at me with an expression that told me I was going to get questioned about it later. Albus had never been one of Cassie’s conquests. Cassie had never tried to add him to her list but I knew he peaked her curiosity. The middle Potter child interested everyone around him because he was puzzle yet to be understood.

“I suppose Potter.” I shrugged like I wasn’t bothered. I turned to Cassie who had her arms folded against her chest. “I’ll catch you up okay?”

Cassie sighed. “Okay.” She pointed to me. “But if you don’t turn up, I will never forgive you.”  I shrugged, even if I didn’t turn up, I knew she would forgive me eventually but I pretended to take her words on board. “I’ll wait for you outside the Hufflepuff common room.” She gave me one more look before she strolled out of the common room angrily but it didn’t really work when she was dressed as a cow. She was a cow with swagger but she was still dressed a cow. That makes anyone instantly uncool. Then again, I couldn’t really talk because I was dressed as a kangaroo but I wasn’t enjoying being a kangaroo, Cassie was loving her time as cow.

“What do you want?” I asked snottily because I am snotty person and Albus didn’t deserve any kind of respect or niceness off me. Not that I really have a nice side. It wasn’t in my genes and I was thankful for that.  “Because I have this sleepover that I must attend.” I rolled my eyes. “Also, I don‘t really like you at all.”

“That’s a nice story.” Albus just blinked at me.  “It’s a pity I don’t really care.” I glared at him. It only been a couple of seconds in his company and I was already pissed off. I was going to be lovely to be around later. “You do know what the plan is tonight?”

“Yeah. Swiftly kill Lily and leave no evidence.” I joked as I rubbed my palms together before sighing.  “I’m not stupid Potter.”

"I beg to differ, you are kind of stupid.” He smirked.

“Do you want me to split them up or not? Because I’m starting to think this isn’t even worth the hassle.”

 “If you want to know-”  Albus began.

 “-Blah, blah, blah.”  I interrupted him. “I’m starting to wonder whether I want to know because-” He stepped closer pressed a finger to my lips which shushed me instantly and turned me into stone. Albus knew how to put me on edge. The power had swapped between us. I thought I had the power because I was doing him a favour. He was the one who wanted Lily to break up with Emmett, not the other way around but Albus was too clever. He had taken the power without me even realizing. I needed it back and quickly, I thought as I stared at the floor. The only problem I didn’t know how to get it back. This game was my most complicated one yet, but it was also the most interesting one. There was only one outcome though, I had to win, losing was not an option. Not now, not ever.

“Shush, my little kangaroo.” He whispered as he looked down at me with that hellish smirk of his. Sometimes I hated being so small. People were always physically looking down on me. I was a person to be looked up too. He cupped my chin so I was forced to stare into those soulless eyes and forced me to look at him for what seem like decades but it was only seconds. “I know you’d never quit.” I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with anger. I wanted to scream and kick him but most of all, I just wanted to escape. I felt like a deer in a headlights. Albus Potter was winning and I couldn’t stand it.

“And why is that?” I snarled angrily as I stared him down. He only looked amused at my sudden anger. He thought he knew me, he thought he understood me and he underestimated me. He knew nothing. I would have to show him that he was wrong.

He leaned in to whisper in my ear. “Because I‘d be the winner and you wouldn‘t be able to live with that. The fact that I had beaten you in one of your pathetic games.” My fists were clenched my sides. “Go on Pippa, try to destroy me.” I was going to kill him. “Anything you can do, I can do better. You’ll learn that soon enough.” He let me go and I almost crumbled but stubborn will made me stand up and look like I hadn’t been shaken. I stared at him defiantly. “Now go my little kangaroo and split them fucking up.” He was now tossing me to side like nothing. He used and never gave anything back. He discarded everything once it had passed its use.

“You’re a bastard. You know that right?” I snapped, the anger was so strong it was making my whole head feel fuzzy. All I could see was a blind rage. I needed to destroy, I needed to hurt and I needed to break Potter so badly that he couldn’t put himself back together again.

He smiled sweetly at me.  He was a monster. It’s always the people who look like angels. Otherwise you‘d never go near them because they‘re poison but you can‘t see that because the eye is pleased with what it can see. It can‘t see the soul that is withered and dead. “Technically, my parents were married when they had me, so I’m kind of not.”  The monster shrugged. I would have to grow and transform. If he could be a monster, then so could I.

I stepped closer to him, trying to shake him like he had shaken me. He was interested and waiting calmly to see my next move. I ran my fingers down the side of his face. I wanted to intimidate him like he had done to me. I didn’t want to be the predictable player, I never wanted him to know what was my next move was going to be. “It’s all just a façade really isn‘t it? You’re going to crumble eventually. One day you’ll be sad and alone and you’re only have yourself to blame because you're horrible. Everyone’s going to give up on you eventually because that’s what happens to people like you.”  Albus just blinked before sighing.

“You and me are in the same boat aren’t we? Everyone’s going to leave us and deep down, we both expect that. We are two of a kind.”  He hummed softly as I dropped my hand. We accused each other of things we were both guilty of but I hated it. I wanted to be nothing like him. “Now go.” He ordered. “You’re going to be late for my sisters sleepover and she hates lateness.” I stood there still like a statue. For some reason, I was unable to move because I couldn’t understand what the hell had just happened. My life had been turned into something I barely recognized and I blamed him. I blamed him for everything.

I finally turned to leave. “I really fucking hate you so much.”  I said with my back turned to him. My legs started moving on their own accord. 

 Albus laughed. “I fucking hate you right back, my little kangaroo.”

I turned around for one last time. “I’m glad.” I smiled at him which seemed to confuse him. He was expecting another display of the angry feelings I couldn’t seem to control so I gave him nothing.  “Good bye Potter.” I left the room and never looked back, because if I did, I would start another argument and I didn’t have the energy for that. I was too busy, I had to conserve energy for getting information from Lily and filling her head with doubts about Emmett. It was easy to make someone doubt everything they ever knew about a person.

I strolled towards the Hufflepuff common room which was apparently near the kitchens.  I eventually found Cassie leaning up against an open barrel. “What took you so long?” She eyed me suspiciously.

"It’s not like that.” I told her immediately.  “He wants me to do him a favour.” Cassie raised her eyebrow. “He wants me to split Lily and Emmett up.” I confessed. 

Cassie thought about the information I had just supplied her with for a couple of moments. “I don’t think I even want to know.” She shrugged. “Let’s go, I’ve been waiting for you for bloody ages.”

“We had an argument-” I began.

“I’ve already said I don’t want to know.” She interrupted me. “It’s lucky I used a Hufflepuff to let me in here. Apparently if you get it wrong, it douses you in vinegar. Hufflepuffs aren't that nice really. Who knew?” She laughed. We entered the common room which was homely with that sunny kind of feeling. The room was warm and it welcomed you into its humble abode. 

I hated it instantly.

Even the plants were bloody dancing and singing. I wanted to stamp on them all and kill them. 

The Hufflepuff’s in the common gave us odd looks, I glared at them while Cassie didn’t even notice.

“Lily said it’s that door.” She pointed to a circular door. We pushed open the door and quickly found the fourth year girls dormitory. We both hummed outside the door for a little while. “I hope there isn’t too many giggly girls. I hate girls that giggle.” Cassie flared her nostrils. “And I hope there isn’t any girls whose boyfriends I’ve stolen, that would be kind of awkward.” She laughed a little evilly and I just shrugged. I accepted Cassie for who she is; boyfriend stealer and all. I mean, she never touched my boyfriend so at least I knew she valued me more than her ‘I can get anyone I want’ reputation. And she accepted me for being an obsessive person who liked everything in order and clean. I mean, she doesn’t even get mad when I reorganize her stuff and she can’t find anything. That's friendship for you. 

“I’m dressed as a Kangaroo, I don’t think life could get any more worse really.” Cassie just sniggered. “Let’s go.” I pushed open the door to find four girls giggling with face masks on and the room smelled highly of strawberry. It made me feel sick.

“Pippa!” Lily yelled happily. “Cassie!” She hugged me and I just stood there until she let go. I needed a shower because Lily is full of dirty germs. I made Cassie wash her hands at least twelve times a day so she can be around me. Lily then ruffled my hair. I had to stop myself from glaring at her. I am not a child and I am bloody older than her. I should be ruffling her hair! Not that I wanted to touch it anyway. Lily then went to hug Cassie who even hugged her back. I was quite surprised. Cassie wasn’t the hugging kind of person. She was stomp on your foot kind of person. At least she was to girls anyway.  

I looked around to see who else was here. There were Lily’s scabby minions who I had no idea what their names are. The tall one was dressed in a frog onesie, she had flowing black hair with a pink streak on each sides, so I decided to christen her Streaky. The normal sized one was wearing a sheep onesie. She had blonde hair so I decided to call her Blondie.  I am so original with nicknames. I thought it was fitting that one was dressed as a sheep considering that’s all they were; Lily’s little sheep. These two girls followed her everywhere.  Even to the toilet which I found odd. There was Roxanne Weasley scowling in the corner sipping on her apple juice with a green face mask plastered on her face. Roxy looked as happy as me about being here.  She yawned before glaring at Streaky, I sensed she didn’t like her, then again, I don’t think Roxy liked anyone. Then Streaky giggled, a high pitch, almost broke my ear drum giggle and I found myself joining Roxy in glaring at her. That is until Rose Weasley came along of course.

Rose was sipping on her strawberry juice carton. It was clear that at Lily’s sleepovers, everyone partied hardcore. Her hair was in a tight ponytail on top of her head and she was dressed as a crocodile. Rose had obviously decided to come as herself then.

“Hello Nott.” She sneered and I just rolled my eyes.

“Hullo Rosie.” I said cheerily because I knew it would annoy her. “How are you on this fine evening?” I could do fake better than I could do real.

Rose just glared at me for a couple of moments before storming over to Roxy, who just glared at her and moved a little bit away from her.  

And so, the sleepover had begun and I could only wonder what tonight would bring.

I could only smirk. 






The next time on The Human Factor

Cassie just smiled because she had heard it all before. Nothing could be said about her lifestyle that bothered her. “Jealously doesn’t suit you sweetheart.” Cassie wasn’t fazed. She had taken girls like Rose down in her sleep. Cassie just didn’t give a crap of what anyone thought of her. It was one of the things I liked about her. I couldn't have a sidekick that crumpled every time someone yelled bitch or slag.

“I couldn’t be jealous of a hoe.” Rose replied snottily. I don’t think she’s forgiven Cassie for kissing her first boyfriend back in fourth year. To be fair, Cassie only did it ‘to shut him up cause he wouldn’t stop talking and she had a headache’ but Rose didn’t see it like that. It didn’t help that the poor boy got a crush on Cassie after that and dumped Rose for Cassie. The boy then began following Cassie everywhere, he’d give her flowers everyday and shouted poems at her in the corridor. It took weeks before it started to annoy Cassie that she had to desperately get rid of him, in the end, she told a professor and the kid now has to keep away from Cassie or get into trouble. Needless to say, he keeps his distance now.



Chapter 16: The One With The Sleepover
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter cause I’m not that cool. I’m working on my time machine though so you never know but I was never a scientist.

Authors Note: Howdy! I hope your holidays were merry.  I have a broken computer at the moment, (I’m using my brothers to post this) and I don’t know when I’ll be able to get it fixed. I also started a new story, it’s next generation :)

Anyway. I hope you enjoy this chapter. Please tell me what you think!  Please remember to keep reviews 12+ though, otherwise they'll get deleted. Thanks for all your support so far, it means a lot to me. And Happy early new year to you all!

Please excuse mistakes, this chapter has not been beta’ed.





Chapter Sixteen-
The One With The Sleepover


Amazing chapter images by HoneyDukesKid01@TDA

“Don’t tell my parents though, they think I’m a borderline kleptomaniac and I really don’t want to go to therapy again. I needed another therapist to get over my traumatic time at therapy.” - Lily Potter


“Pippa.” Lily beamed at me and I looked at her. I was almost frightened by how happy she was right now. The girls had already plastered some purple gunk on my face which was apparently good for the pores. I didn’t know what pores were. I could barely move my face due to the purple gunk.“Who would you most like to kiss in Hogwarts? Like you know, if someone had a gun,” I didn’t know what a gun was but I figured it wasn‘t something good. “And was like, kiss someone now otherwise you die!”  She pouted her lips.

I didn’t want to answer anything because that meant revealing something about myself but I knew I didn’t have chance really. Girls are ruthless when it comes to supposed secrets.

So I let the thoughts come.  

The obvious answer was him. I would have kissed him forever. That certain touch he had and the way I craved the words that hung off his lips. He was the only person I wanted to kiss in this world. Nothing compared to him. But I didn’t want to reveal that to everyone. I didn’t even want to feel it let alone acknowledge it. My eyes had been ripped open from being glued shut for too long and I refused to close them again to loose myself. He had sucked the life out of my bones and I had only just found the energy to drag myself forward, towards the light and away from the darkness that clung to my skin like raindrops. So I let the thoughts fly away like a kite in the wind. “Hmmm.” I pretended like I was thinking about it. “Myself.” I smirked. “I’m a catch.” Rose started choking and Roxy whacked her hard on the back. Rose glared at Roxy who just raised her eyebrow at her. If there was ever a fight between the Weasley girls, I’m going to with Roxy to win.

Lily rolled her eyes playfully. “I expected nothing less from you.” I just shrugged. It was nice not to disappoint for once. “How about you Cassie?” Lily asked as she chewed on a liquorish lace. I was seriously craving one at the moment but I couldn’t trust that Rose hadn’t poisoned one or something.

“Well,” Cassie was putting some serious thought into this. Boys were her speciality. “I’ve kissed a lot of boys.” That was a understatement of the century. “So I don’t think I want to kiss anymore of them, I mean, all the ones I haven’t kissed are ones I don’t fancy.” Lily nodded, unable to think of a response. “And I don’t see the point in kissing anyone you don’t fancy.”  Cassie answered. “Unless, you know, you had to.” Lily just nodded as Cassie hummed happily, I mean it was a fair answer after all.

“I would like to kiss,” Streaky paused for dramatic effect so I yawned. “Seth Longbottom.”  Seth was a dark hair fifth year who was wise beyond his years. You wanted advice? You go to Seth. He knew all and he understood all. But you had to bring him sweets in exchange of advice otherwise he’d just stare at you until you felt uncomfortable. He wouldn’t say anything, he’d just stare. Cassie had visited him a couple of times to get an opinion of lip glosses. She was never sure whether she was a yummy or delicious. I mean, who actually names these things? They’re idiots.  In the end though, it was decided that Cassie was delicious.

“Been there, done that.” Cassie sighed. “He slobbered and my chin make up got removed.” Cassie shuddered. “It was quite a traumatic experience. I’ve been trying to forget it.” She shrugged. It seems she wasn’t only getting his opinion after all. I wasn’t even surprised.

“I quite fancy Luke, you know that one-” Blondie giggle but Cassie quickly cut her off.

“-Whose hair looks like a clown wig?”  Cassie snorted as Blondie glared at her. “Even I wouldn’t go there.” Cassie smiled at Blondie.

“And that is saying something.” Rose smirked.

Cassie just smiled because she had heard it all before. Nothing could be said about her lifestyle that bothered her. “Jealously doesn’t suit you sweetheart.” Cassie wasn’t fazed. She had taken girls like Rose down in her sleep. Cassie just didn’t give a crap of what anyone thought of her. It was one of the things I liked about her. I couldn't have a sidekick that crumpled every time someone yelled bitch or slag.

“I couldn’t be jealous of a hoe.” Rose replied snottily. I don’t think she’s forgiven Cassie for kissing her first boyfriend back in fourth year. To be fair, Cassie only did it ‘to shut him up cause he wouldn’t stop talking and she had a headache’ but Rose didn’t see it like that. It didn’t help that the poor boy got a crush on Cassie after that and dumped Rose for Cassie. The boy then began following Cassie everywhere, he’d give her flowers everyday and shouted poems at her in the corridor. It took weeks before it started to annoy Cassie that she had to desperately get rid of him, in the end, she told a professor and the kid now has to keep away from Cassie or get into trouble. Needless to say, he keeps his distance now.

“You make me giggle.” Cassie laughed as Rose fumed. Whatever she did, she just couldn’t get under Cassie’s skin. It must have pissed her off quite a bit. “How about you Roxy?”

“Boys are disgusting vile creatures.” She replied with a blank face. “I’d rather die than go near them. I mean, they‘re just so immature and need to get a grip on life.” She folded her arms grumpily as she dazed out the window, wishing she was any place but here. I felt the same too.

“You’re just sitting bitter from first year when that boy put chewing gum in your hair.”  Lily laughed and Roxy just snarled at the memory.

“I got that twat back.” She smiled softly. It was the first time I had ever seen her smile and I believed it would probably be the last.

“What did you do?” I asked, interested. Revenge was something that I was a self proclaimed pro at but I was willing to steal ideas from amateurs.

“I broke his nose.” She told me proudly. She had just used old fashioned violence and I was disappointed. There was nothing original in that. Emotional was always the way to go. Bones can be mended in seconds but emotional scars remain forever, a permanent mark on an otherwise blank canvas. A flaw that transforms it into a beautiful masterpiece as you slowly start to die inside. The screams are trapped in your chest and the cries are inaudible. The help never comes and you join the army of zombies. The ones that understand how you feel but refuse to offer a helping hand, because that would save you both and the voice inside your head won’t allow that. I ran my fingers through my hair as I ignored the macabre thoughts that were forming. I breathed in deeply as I let the nothingness wash over me.

I was okay again.

I sighed, this moving on was a bitch and I still didn’t know if I was doing it right.

Cassie just nodded, wide eyed. “Well, that’s summed you up then.”  Roxy just smirked at her. “How about you darling?” She grinned as she looked at Rose.

Rose frowned at her. “Don’t call me darling, Holmes.” Cassie shrugged innocently. She would keep calling her that for fun now. “And I don’t like anyone.” Rose shrugged. It seems that someone didn’t want to play the game properly.

Lily scoffed. “Anyone?”  Lily was finding the very idea absurd.

Rose shrugged. “We’re related to half of them.” This was true. “I guess there is Damien.” Both me and Lily turned glared at her. I wasn’t sure which one of us was giving her more hateful looks. I swear if she touches my brother, I’ll get Lily to kill her. It also showed that Lily wasn’t completely lost to Emmett. She still had feelings for my brother. My plan had even a better chance of succeeding. Not that I doubted it anyway. “And Nathan Morgan is okay looking.” Cassie gave an knowing smile and I wondered how far she gotten with the boy. I had forgotten to ask her. “But I wouldn’t go there with any of them, I mean, boys are too immature for me at the moment.”

“Pippa.” Streaky called to me and I just looked at her. “Is your cousin going out with anyone at the moment? He’s kind of cute.”

I raised my eyebrow. Over my dead body would she ever start a relationship with my cousin. Even then, I’d come back as a ghost and tell her to stay away from him.She isn’t what Scorpius needs. She couldn’t look after him because she’s as dumb as he is. “Yeah.” I told her as Streaky looked disappointed. “He’s dating that girl Harper.” I picked up a nail varnish and opened the bottle. I had decided on green for because I had Slytherin Pride and all. Roxy was painting her nails a blood red.

“How do you feel about that?” Lily asked me. “I know you’re pretty protective of him.” She added.

I scoffed. “I’m not protective of him. I couldn’t give a crap what he does.” At least I was trying not to but I couldn’t help it. Something about Scorpius just called to a part I didn’t know I even had but I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. I wasn’t ready to say I cared. Everyone was giving me looks like they didn’t believe me so I shrugged defiantly. “But I guess she’s okay…I suppose.” But if she ever hurt Scorpius, I would take her down without a second thought… I still don’t care though.

“So Lily,” I tried to appear friendly but I probably came off looking like a psycho. “How are you and Emmett going?” I tried to grin but my face ached after several seconds so I gave up on grinning.

Lily bit her bottom lip. “I like him…it’s just…” She paused for a moment trying to gather her scatty thoughts.  “I don’t feel like I can open up to him. It doesn’t feel right. I mean, he’s a nice boy and everything.” She paused for a moment. “He hates you by the way; he thinks you’re going to make the Slytherin team lose.” She added.

I tried to look offended. “Hey!” I snapped. “I am a good seeker, it’s not that hard.” It’s probably not good to mention I fell off my broom last practice into a muddy puddle, almost had a panic attack, and then refused to get back on my broom which made Albus really angry. He then sprayed me with a jet of water from his wand to make me ‘clean’ again but I still refused to play. “But relationships are always scary.” I was so good at this advice crap, I should have a column in a newspaper or something. Seth had nothing on me.  

Out of the corner of my eye, I had noticed that Cassie was poking Rose in the arm which was making her quickly agitated and Roxie just look uninterested in everything.

“Yes, but it shouldn’t be this hard? Isn’t something meant to click?” She sighed.

“That only happens if you’re in a romance novel.” I scoffed. Relationships are work. It’s not as easy as everyone makes out.

“I don’t know, Pippa. You see, I’m scared of being in a relationship and being hurt.” Lily was suddenly bleak and mumbling. She had been wounded, I could tell.

“It doesn’t matter Lily. Even if you lock your heart into a little box and throw away the key, you still end up getting hurt just as much as a person who wears their heart on their sleeve would. Everyone gets hurt, even when they try to prevent it.” I shrugged. “You’ve just got to decide whether it’s worth it.” I didn’t believe anyone was worth it as I felt my bitterness consume me again. It wraps itself in my veins, becoming one as my broken heart pumps its poison around my body. These thoughts were useless but I couldn’t stop them. Lily was looking at me with sad eyes. I was looking at a frightened girl who didn’t know what she wanted and I had put her in this situation.

I almost felt bad.

This was a new feeling.

I didn’t like it.

“I guess you’re right.” Lily hummed for a while. “Pain is only temporary anyway, it goes away eventually.” She smiled at me; those bright brown eyes stared at me. Lily had found her hope again. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell Albus for ages but he just won’t listen to me.” It was a casual remark but I froze for a second.

“Have you really?” I tried to ask casually.

“Yeah.” Lily ran her fingers through her hair that had never seen a brush.  “But he’s still messed up from-“ She stopped talking abruptly. She realized I wasn’t the person she should be telling this information to. It turns out that Lily had a brain after all. I just gazed at her with my best innocent look. It’s the one I use to always get the last slice of cake. “So,” She was trying to change the topic. “What do you think I should do with Emmett?”

“If it doesn’t feel right, break up with him.” I shrugged.

“Also,” Lily sighed. “I still haven’t been able to take down my Damien shrine.” She sighed happily. “I just love it too much; do you want to see it?” She jumped up, suddenly full of life again. If Lily wasn’t a complete weirdo and Damien actually saw her in that way, she would probably make him really happy. She worships him more than he worships himself. “It’s amazing, I have pictures of him that I took of him when I stalked him, I’ve also stolen spoons that he’s used, well actually, I’ve stolen quite a few things really.” She smiled. “Don’t tell my parents though, they think I’m a borderline kleptomaniac and I really don’t want to go to therapy again. I needed another therapist to get over my traumatic time at therapy.” Lily was crazy. “Anyway, I only steal Damien’s stuff. That isn’t weird right?” I could only nod because I was a little overwhelmed.

“I’d rather not see the shrine if that’s alright?” I smiled politely.

“Oh right!” Lily laughed. “I forgot you’re his sister sometimes because you’re totally different.”

“Aren’t you just as different compared to your siblings?” I asked. She was nothing like Albus, she shared similarities with James but Lily a different edge. She was a cannonball all of her own.
“I guess.” Lily agreed. “I mean, James still has an ounce of sanity about him.”  That was true. “And Albus is so moody.” Lily grinned. “I couldn’t be moody if I could tried.” She couldn’t. Lily still believed she was getting her fairytale. Her naivety was almost endearing. Almost.  “Anyway, I fancy a walk.” Roxy shot Lily a disgusted look.

“A walk?” She asked. “Are you being serious? These legs weren’t made for walking.” She pointed to her ass. “You see this ass? It was made for sitting.”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Your ass is getting so big.” Rose kicked Roxy in the ass. “You need to go for a walk.”

Roxy grumbled. “Don’t insult me peroxide.” Rose just swore at her. So this is what the most one of the most famous families did? Insult each other? I liked it. “Fine, I’ll come. I need to wash this gunk off my face. I don’t want to scare everyone.”

“Your normal face does that by itself.” Rose muttered.

Roxy raised her eyebrow. “You starting something Weasley?” Rose faltered for a minute.

“Of course not Weasley.”  Rose smiled sweetly.

Roxy unclenched her fists. “Good. I’ve just painted my nails and I don’t want to mess them up punching you.”

Rose just rolled her eyes but she didn’t say anything else. Roxy shot her a warning look before walking into the bathroom.

“I don’t think she likes you.” Cassie giggled.

Lily laughed. “Rose and Roxy always clash. Roxy doesn’t take any crap and Rose likes to push her.” Hmmm, maybe I could sell this information to the papers. It’s got to be worth at least a gallon. For some reason, any person in the Weasley or Potter family interested the whole wizarding world. I have yet to understand why.

“It seems you have a brain after all, Lily. You’re not as stupid as you look.” Rose was being grumpy. She was embarrassed that she lost a war of the words with an eleven year old.

Lily just smiled. “Don’t be a moody git now Rosie.” Lily went to wash her face, her cronies following their queen with pride. It seemed everybody hated Rose. This made me happy on a petty level.

“You just know how to make everyone love you don’t they?” Cassie snickered. She was loving this just as much as I was.

Rose stared at us with a blank expression on her face. “Be quiet Holmes.”  Cassie just rolled her eyes. If Rose thought telling Cassie to shut up would work, she was sadly mistaken. I had learned this the hard way. She would just continually talk because she knew she was annoying you.   “You don’t understand anything.”

“I understand quite a bit actually.” Cassie laughed. “I’m not just a pretty face.” She smirked as she pointed to her face. “Come on Pippa.” She dragged me with force towards the bathroom. “Let’s go and wash this gunk off our faces.”

And so, we left Rose pondering the mess that she had just caused.

It took us another half an hour to get fully ready for our walk. Blondie and Streaky had to reapply their make up, cause heaven forbid a ghost would see them without their war make up. Rose took ages in the bathroom washing her face. Lily still didn’t brush her hair and Roxy just glared at everyone. I stood there wishing I was any place but here and Cassie was loving it all. It was all a new experience for her. We didn’t do this kind of crap when we slept over. Cassie drew faces on potatoes and put a show on for me. Then she’d eat the last cookie, always.

“Pippa.” Streaky looked me up and down. She was taller than me I noticed. I sighed as I hoped one day I would finally gain an inch or two. “Do you want to borrow some mascara?”

“No thanks.” I instantly objected but Streaky didn’t listen. She basically attacked me with her mascara wand and I decided to give in. My eyelashes felt like weights. I only wore make up on special occasions and when I was at home at my mothers insistence. Ladies should make themselves look the best they can be and apparently make up is involved in that. Cassie loved her make up. She was never seen without her trademark red lips except when she sat around the dorm fresh faced and more beautiful than ever.

“Can we go now?” I whined. This onesie was boiling me alive and I needed to breath some fresh air.

“I think we’re finally all ready.” Lily grinned. “Let’s go.”

I sighed with relief as we all clambered out of the dormitory. It took it slowly, as we prepared for anything. Well, me and Cassie did because that is the Slytherin way. Lily just hummed happily as she skipped through the castle. That must be the Hufflepuff way.

The outside air was crisp and I breathed it all in, feeling slightly more relaxed than I had all night. We strolled around the castle ground as Lily chatted about some guy named Carlos.

“...I miss Carlos.” She said as I finally tuned into what she said.

“Who the hell is Carlos?” I asked.

“Haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve been saying?” It was clear to both of that I hadn’t been listening.  “Carlos is the family dog. He’s half-” Lily randomly stopped talking but only pointed. “Look!” I looked at what she was pointing and groaned inwardly. “Damien is here!” It was true, Damien, James, Fred, Scorpius, Albus were sitting underneath a large tree by the black lake, along with a few other boys I didn’t recognize.

Oh great.

Kill me now.

“Let’s just turn around and walk another way-” I suggested, hoping everyone would agree with me.

“Damien is there.” Lily eyes lit up with glee. “We have to go over, I haven’t talked to him in ages.”  No one decided to argue. Lily was a woman on a mission and nobody messes with Lily, cause she’s crazy.

So in our onesie glory, we went over.

“Pippy!” Scorpius yelled. He hasn’t called me Pippy since we were children. I hated it then and I hated it now. I got so angry when I was seven when he called me it that I accidentally set his teddy called Sizzles on fire through under aged magic. He cried for days, his parents bought him about ten other teddy bears but none of them compared to Sizzles. I ended up giving him a teddy of my own, called Spoon.It was one of my moments of niceness and Spoon still sits on a shelf in Scorpius room. “Pippy!” Scorpius repeated as his arm fell over my shoulder. “I lobe you.” I think he meant love, but I decided not to correct him.

“Cheers.” I muttered as I eyed him up. Something wasn’t right as I surveyed the scene. I didn’t see any evidence for my theory but I knew I was right. I had only seen this type of Scorpius before and every single time I had seen it, Scorpius had been drunk. “Scorpius,” I muttered as he looked at me with wide eyes. “Have you been drinking?”

“Just a wittle bit.” He hiccuped as he pulled me closer into a rib breaking cuddle. I hated cuddles cause of all the germs. I was covered in  Scorpius germs, clearly my number is up now. I’ll be dead by the morning.  Good bye sweet life! I’ll shall miss you. Then Scorpius distracted me from my doomed thoughts by letting go and then he decided to spin around.

And around.

And around again.

Eugh, even watching him was making me feel sick.

Then unsurprisingly he fell to the floor.

I am a nice cousin so I  decided to just leave him there.

“Damien.” I hissed, interrupting his chat with Lily.  He looked thankful that I had come over. “You let Scorpius drink? You know he can’t handle his drink. How much has he had?”

“One butterbeer and a shot of fire whiskey.” Damien laughed and I instantly felt embarrassed. Scorpius really couldn’t take his drink. “I forgot how fire whiskey goes straight to that little brain of his.”

“Scorpius’ brain isn’t little. He probably has a normal sized brain but he only uses a little bit of it.” I humphed at I walked off leaving my brother in the mercy of Lily. That will serve him right.

Scorpius was still laying on the floor.  He looked almost...precious so I left him there. Cassie was surrounded by a group of boys I didn’t know the name of with Roxy who was glaring at them. Rose was no where to be seen and Lily’s cronies were watching her talk to Damien. Idecided to walk over to James and Fred. Albus was also there but I paid no attention to him. He didn’t deserve it.

“Looking good Pippa!” Fred smirked.

“It’s too bad I couldn’t say the same to you.” I smiled sweetly as Fred just rolled his eyes at me. “How did this happen?” I pointed to Scorpius who was complaining that the moon was too bright and it was hurting his eyes.

James poked me in the arm to draw my attention away from Scorpius.“I decided I fancied a walk around Hogsmeade.” What is with everyone taking a walk these days? We’ve been walking for thousand of years, it’s nothing special. “Somehow, we all ended up going and then we ended up in the pub.” James paused for a moment. “It was a good night.” None of them seemed to be drunk like Scorpius.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“We chatted.” James shrugged.

“Like the way women do?”

“No.” James protested. “Like men! With beer!”

“Sounds manly. So, you just sat around discussing girls with beer?” James nodded. “We’ve been doing the same thing but about boys with juice.”

James laughed. “Men eh? Was I mentioned?”

“Nope.” James pulled a disbelieving face. “But if you tried, you could pull Streaky.”

James scrunched up his nose. “No thanks, that’s my sisters friend and she’s like 3 years younger than me.”

I shrugged. “Suit yourself.”

“Was I mentioned?” Fred asked.

“Nope.”

“You girls have no taste.”

“We have taste; that’s why you weren’t mentioned.” I shrugged as Fred glared at me. “Was I mentioned?” I smiled sweetly.

“Of course.” Fred winked before finally realizing that his sister was with a group of boys. “What the hell is Roxy doing over there? They better not touch her.”

James laughed. “Roxy can handle herself.” Fred thought about it for a moment before finally agreeing with James. “She’s broken your nose like six times and she once broke my arm. That girl is tough.”

“True.” Fred sighed, finally tearing his eyes away. “So, Pippa what do you think of my sister?”

“She’s okay.” I offered. In truth, I liked her but I didn’t want to admit that. She had something about her. She was only eleven yet she’d start a fight with anyone and it seemed like she’d win every fight she had. I wouldn’t mess with her, at least I’d try to avoid it. “She almost punched Rose.” James and Fred shared a look. “Don’t worry, she didn’t in the end but she came pretty close.”

“Typical Rose and Roxy.” Fred sighed.

“Nott.” It was Albus, I had hoped not to speak to him tonight after our angry exchange earlier but as usual, I had no luck.  “Can I speak to you?” He didn’t even ask if I was okay nor did he mention the weather, as usual, Albus just got down to the point.

Stupid Potter.

He didn’t even give me a chance to offer a sarcastic reply before he had snaked his hand around my wrist and was dragging me away from James and Fred, who were just looking at me oddly.

Forget Scorpius germs, this was how I was going to die.

I was going to be murdered by Albus.

Albus had dragged me over to a corner right next to the lake. The water always made me nervous because I couldn’t swim. The dark black water was beautiful, I saw my reflection it and I could only laugh at myself quietly. I looked ridiculous in this onesie. I looked sweet.

This was awful.

I am not sweet.

And to prove it, I pushed Albus Potter into the lake.

It was easy because he didn’t expect it.

I am the master of surprise!

The shock on his face as he fell was perfect. It was priceless and I would relive it for many days to come.  He crawled out slowly with a look of thunder.

Perhaps that wasn’t the best idea.

I didn’t have a chance to run because he had grabbed me.

“You’ll pay for that Nott.”  He whispered, as the water dripped down his face. His expression was unreadable and I knew I had passed the line of no return. I had took it to far.

He let me go and I tumbled into the cold water.

I sunk like a rock. I tried to fight but the water was suffocating me. I didn’t want this to be the end of me, I had to much destruction left in my future.

I still had to get better too.

I wasn’t ready to give up.

The water filled my lungs.

I tried to fight with all my strength.

But it was useless.

The darkness came anyway.





The next time on The Human Factor

“Oh! I got you something!” He picked up a cup from the floor. It’s always lovely when people keep your presents on the floor. “Drink this tea!” He shoved the cup clumsily into my hands. “It’ll help you feel better, I promise!” I looked down at the tea, it was made perfectly just the way i liked it. A drop of milk, strong with no sugar. Scorpius knows me a lot better than I think.

I had no idea how he managed to learn these simple things without me even noticing. Maybe there was a reason he was in Slytherin after all.  Scorpius was staring at me, willing me to give in for once, so I took a sip to please him. I didn’t want him to start crying or something.

It was perfect.

The boy did good.

Not that he’ll ever know.


 

Chapter 17: The One With All The Anger
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 Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.


Authors Note: First of all, thanks for your overwhelming support on the last chapter. I am amazed & I thank you all. I also hit 500 reviews which is just so amazing and thanks again. The last chapter was important as Pippa finally realized she wants to live after all. So that will help her move forward. Also, The Human Factor was voted Gryffindor story of the month for February. Thanks so much for that my fellow Gryffindors! It made my week! Also I’m a bit behind on answering reviews but your responses are coming soon!

Sorry for the wait with this chapter. It’s taken a while due to still having no computer which sucks.  It also has bad language in it, don’t read if that stuff easily offends you :) Please remember to keep any reviews 12+ otherwise they’ll get deleted :) Thanks so much to ramita for all her help on this chapter.



Also The Human Factor is 1 years old! It's hard to believe but it's true! So thanks for all your support for this past year!






Chapter Seventeen -
The One With All The Anger


Amazing chapter images by HoneyDukesKid01@TDA

“This is the hospital wing. Stop skipping, you hyperactive chihuahua.” - Damien Nott




I couldn’t breathe. The snow pelted down so hard on my skin that I thought it would bruise but it didn’t matter. Nothing did. But I didn’t move, I needed this, it almost made me feel real, like I wasn’t that ghost that I saw every time in the mirror. The hollow dead eyes that haunted me weren't me. It couldn’t be. I was real. I needed to feel real because I was tired of my fakeness dragging me down. I was just going through the motions barely existing.

Everything was fuzzy and I could no longer tell what was reality and what was a dream because they were both horrific as each other.  I was being stifled and I was losing control on everything that mattered. I felt this deep inconsolable sadness that made my chest physically ache, but it was still one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. There was something almost poetic about it.

Things were very wrong.

I could hear the mindless chatter from the kitchen as I stood in the garden. The snow was washing my impurities away, leaving me with the innocence I once held  onto for dear life. It was attempting to wash away the darkness that clung to my skin. It was too late, I couldn’t be saved.

I believed this.

I believed in it more than anything.

My sight was being blurred by the snowflakes.

“Pippa.” Damien stood at the backdoor, leaning casually. My failed saviour. My king. “What the hell are you doing out here? It’s bloody cold.” He stepped on the snow in bare feet and I heard it crunch. It sounded like an explosion. He was destroying my peace. He shivered and I just stared at him.

“Here.” He pulled off his jumper and shoved it over my head. It was almost comforting. He tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear. “What’s up?” He was offering me a way out, a shoulder to cry on and ears to listen. I didn’t know whether I could even find the words.

“I want...” I paused. I wanted so many things. I closed my eyes before opening them. I stared in his eyes, the exact same shade as mine, but his were more alive. He had the spark that I lacked. “I want all this to go away. I want to feel normal.”

Love came slyly like a thief and ruined me.

“What happened?” he questioned softly.

“We’re falling apart.” I bit my chapped lip. “I’m trying to hold on as much as hard as I can, but-”

“Sometimes,” he whispered so quietly that it was almost lost in the wind, “you have to just let go. It might be the hardest thing in the world, but sometimes, good-byes are meant to happen. Things end for a reason.”

I didn’t understand. I couldn’t go on living without him. He was everything to me but he was giving up. On us. On me. Love was too rough on me it left me with the scars that only I could see.

“He told that I’m the biggest mistake of his life.” The words were tumbling out. The truth burned me. “He regrets ever falling in love with me.” I regretted falling in love with him because he had turned me into this weak pathetic mess. I was strong before him. He has made me weak and I would never forgive him for that... but I still loved him. I always would.

“He said I’m destroying him.” I couldn’t stop the tears from slowly sliding down my face, Damien tried to wipe them as quickly as they came but he couldn’t keep up.

I wanted to forget that he ever said those words, but I couldn’t.

I was too far gone.

So I stood there, tears streaming down my face as it snowed as my brother promised to be there for me and protect me from all the negativity that surrounded my life. I still wasn’t sure whether he was stable enough to cope with me gripping on him with all my life.

But they did always say that promises were made to be broken.

“Love you, Pip,” he whispered but I ignored him. I had heard those words before and I had done the crazy thing and believed them. I would never make that mistake again.


I woke up startled and drenched in sweat.

I had survived.

And for some reason, I was thankful for this.

The moonlight filtered in through the window as the memory of drowning came back to me. I didn’t save myself. I was never able to. I could cut myself into little pieces but I could never piece myself back together. I didn’t have the strength.

But different matters plagued me: who the hell saved me after all?

I had no idea why anyone would save me.

It bugged me all night because I refused to go back to sleep as I didn’t want to be reminded about him. I was moving on. Time was healing, apparently, and I was slowly coming to terms with my life without him. I couldn’t focus on the past when I was awake; it haunted me enough when I slept. This is probably why I never felt rested or why I never wanted to sleep.  But those things didn’t bother me at this moment.

Who saved me?

It bothered me. I didn't ask to be saved even though I wanted to be. I wondered what the person would want in exchange for saving me from a watery grave. I mean, no one does that sort of thing just to be nice, do they? I would have to find out. It all depended on who it was.

I didn’t think it would be Scorpius. As much as he loves me, he was pretty much close to passing out on the floor. Damien, James and Fred were all possible players, but I wasn’t sure. Lily was probably too distracted by Damien. I mean, I once saw her fall down the stairs because she was staring at him and wasn’t paying attention. I remember it clearly because it made me laugh for a week. Cassie was playing around with boys hearts and that was almost a full time job for her. Roxy was still a child, even though she had the mentality of an adult but I didn’t expect much from her.

And then there was Albus.

Albus who I couldn’t even start to explain or even make sense in my head. All I knew that there was no goodness in that heart - just a dead bitterness with a dose of pure evil.

A bit like mine, then.

But that’s another story.

I lay there all night and refused to allow my body any more sleep. Eventually, the sun rose and I heard the unmistakable voice of a hyperactive Scorpius talking to a bemused Cassie. There were more footsteps, but I had no idea who they belonged too. In the end, I closed my eyes and pretended I was still asleep.

I heard the doors bust open. Even with my eyes closed, I could still tell that Scorpius was skipping. He’s a skipper, that boy.

“Shhh,” said Damien. “This is the hospital wing. Stop skipping, you hyperactive chihuahua.”

“I know you are, but what am I?” Scorpius replied childishly.

Cassie sighed as I heard her flop into the chair next to my bed. “She’s still asleep. I need her to wake up...” Cassie paused for a moment and I waited for her to say something nice about me, like they do in the movies. “...the dorm needs cleaning and my trunk needs organizing. I am living in a messy hell hole.” I knew Cassie loved my obsessive cleaning nature, even though she tried to pretend that she didn’t.

“I miss her.” Scorpius sighed. “Oh my Pippy!” Wake up!” He yelled loudly before I heard someone swiftly whack him.

“Calm down Scorpius.” Damien scolded him like a small child. “She looks almost sweet like this don’t you think? It’s probably because she isn’t talking.” My brother thinks so highly of me.

“Boo!” I yelled suddenly sitting up. Damien and Scorpius screamed before grabbing onto each other for their lives and Cassie fell out of her chair. “I’m aliveeeee.” I said in my most creepy little voice.

“Pippa!” Scorpius pushed Damien off him and threw himself at me and wrapped me in a bone crushing hug. I just stood there limply as I tried to breath but the pressure on my ribs was making it near impossible. Cassie clambered off the floor and dragged herself back into her chair.

“Scorpius,” I coughed, “I can’t breathe.”

He let go and just stared at me with the most sweetest smile on his face. He was genuinely happy to see that I woke up. It made me feel sick. “I’m so happy you’re finally awake, you were out for a couple of days.” Once my body gets a chance to sleep, it abuses it.

“I’ve missed you.” He slid by my side and rested his head on my shoulder. “So much has happened! Yesterday, I tried pineapple and I really liked it, I fell down the stairs... several times. Cassie called me a moose, my mom sent me a new jumper and it has a kitten on it! I love it.” I tried to keep up with all the useless information he was telling me. “Fred dyed my hair purple yesterday and-”

“- that’s lovely, Scorpius.” I said interrupting him.

“Oh! I got you something!” He picked up a cup from the floor. It’s always lovely when people keep your presents on the floor. “Drink this tea!” He shoved the cup clumsily into my hands. “It’ll help you feel better, I promise!” I looked down at the tea, it was made perfectly just the way i liked it. A drop of milk, strong with no sugar. Scorpius knows me a lot better than I think.

I had no idea how he managed to learn these simple things without me even noticing. Maybe there was a reason he was in Slytherin after all.  Scorpius was staring at me, willing me to give in for once, so I took a sip to please him. I didn’t want him to start crying or something.

It was perfect.

The boy did good.

Not that he’ll ever know.

“So,” I titled my head to the side, “what’s up?”

Damien raised an eyebrow. “What’s up? What’s up?” he snapped. “You almost died, that’s whats up!” He glared at me. “What the hell were you doing by the water anyway? You can’t swim. It’s dangerous!” Aw, I think this was Damien showing that he cared. “And then you fell in-”

“- what?” I snapped. “I didn’t fall in. I was pushed.” Albus had lied. I was suddenly really angry. Who the hell did he think he was? Did he think I was going to go around with his stupid lie? Oh hell no. I was not that type of girl.

Damien’s eyes narrowed. “What did you just say?”

“Albus pushed me in the lake after I pushed him in for pissing me off.”

“I’m going to kill that bastard,” he snarled. “He didn’t even try to help you.” Damien clenched his fists. “I’m actually going to kill him. I’ll see you later.” He walked towards the door before turning to look at me. “I’m glad you’re alive, though.” He stormed out of the room.

Cassie just offered me an awkward smile.  “Scorpius,” she said sweetly, “go and stop Damien from killing Potter, will you?”

Scorpius looked a little heartbroken at the news he had received. “Okay.” He kissed my forehead before running like a chicken after Damien.  

“Care to fill me in?” I asked Cassie.

“Well.” Cassie legs hung over the arms of he chair. “You’ll never believe what happened.” Cassie was smirking. “Rose saved you. Albus was just sitting there startled, and Rose dragged you out while calling you a tub of lard.” I couldn’t contain my surprise. Rose? Was she being serious? Rose hated me. I couldn’t process the information she just told me.

I mean, Rose.

“When we asked what had happened, because none of us had seen it, Albus said you tripped over your onesie and fell in.” Cassie paused for a moment. “I thought it was odd. You’re not known for your clumsiness. I mean, if you told me Scorpius had fallen in, I would have believed you. But it didn’t add up to me.”

“That’s because it wasn’t the bloody truth!” I seethed.

“It’s Albus Potter, did you expect anything more?” She raised her eyebrow.

“No,” I replied coldly, the anger in me refused to evaporate.

“All right then.” Cassie shrugged. “So...how you feeling?”

“I’m chilling.” I replied sarcastically.

“Just like when we pulled you from the water. You were pale like an ice cube.” Cassie laughed as I glared at her playfully. “For future reference, keep me away from peanuts and you keep away from water then we’ll have a chance of surviving sixth year?”

I laughed. “We might have a fighting chance.”

“Miss Nott,” Madam Bright appeared. She was in charge of the hospital wing. She was a woman in her mid thirties, rather new to the job but she was rather good. She made sure Cassie was alright when we were last here so that made her alright in my book. “It’s nice to see you awake, are you feeling well?” I nodded at her. “You should be alright to go now. Just stay away from water and take it easy for the next couple of days.”  She smiled at me warmly before walking away.

Cassie smiled. “Let’s go hoe.” She winked. “All your stuff is in the bag. Get changed out of that ugly hospital gown before I burn my eyes out to stop myself from looking at it. I looked down, the gown was rather ugly.

“Why the hell am I in this?”

“Hypothermia apparently.” Cassie shrugged. “You started shaking.” Cassie looked away from me. “Now get changed.”

I pulled the ugly nightgown off me and I pulled one of my many pastel dresses on me. I slipped on my shoes, chucked on a cardigan that was a deep shade of lilac and I was good to go.

“Ready.”

Cassie clambered out of her chair slowly before yawning. She picked up my bag for me, chucked it over her shoulder and began walking. I followed her out of the hospital wing as I imagine scenarios of me punching Albus.

They made me feel rather jolly.

“I am starving.” Cassie rubbed her belly. “It’s almost lunch time. I hope they do spaghetti today.” Cassie loves spaghetti. Only hoops though. She hates the stringy kind.

So we headed to the great hall for lunch. I watched as Cassie ate her weight in food. It was like that girl had never seen food before as I nibbled on a sandwich. I spotted Rose instantly.  She was alone, as usual, sitting on the end of the bench.

“I’ll be back in a minute.” I told Cassie who just nodded with a mouth of food. I walked over to Rose nervously. I just wanted to find out why. I couldn’t help myself. It just made no sense to me. Rose looked at me oddly. “Can I talk to you?” Rose gestured to the bench and I sat down.

“I heard you saved me.”

“You heard correct.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged.

“Yes, you do.” I pestered.

“I was just lurking by that tree, hoping to gain some peace then I saw you get pushed in and not surface. All I thought was die bitch die!” It was lovely to see what Rose thought of me. “But I couldn’t watch you drown.” Rose laughed bitterly. “Maybe I still have feelings after all.” Rose wasn’t like the dragon she normally was, she seemed fragile and meek. Almost mouse like. Almost human. It was true; everyone feels broken sometimes but this disturbed me. I would not allow my relationship with Rose to change. We hated each other and that would never change. “Who knew?” She shook her head. “I sure didn’t.”

“Erm.” I mumbled. “I...” I felt like I should thank her, the manners drummed into me as a child were fighting to come out but I was trying to fight them because I didn’t want to thank her.

“Don’t thank me.” She snapped. “I don’t want your thanks.” She crossed her arms, the dragon was back. I had a feeling that I wouldn't see that side of Rose again. The moment of vulnerability was over.

I scoffed. “I wasn’t going to thank you.” I was such a good liar sometimes, I actually almost sounded believable. “I mean, it’s not like I asked to be saved or anything.” Rose rolled her eyes at me. “I had it all under control.” I always tried to have everything under control. It was my thing. Pippa the control freak. That’s who I was.

Rose laughed. “Yeah, before or after you blacked out?”  She ran her fingers through her messy hair. I noticed she was actually rather pretty, once you know, I stopped focusing on all the ugly parts of her. Her toffee coloured eyes stared me down and I just raised my eyebrow at her.

“After.” I said in the ‘duh’ tone. “Just before you were about to save me, I was about to wake up and kick Albus’ ass.”

“If that is what you want to believe, then you go on and believe that.” She smirked at me. “Is that all you wanted?”

“I guess so.”

“Then leave.” Rose snapped.

I sighed at her before getting up. I felt her eyes watching me as I walked out of the great hall.

I was feeling messed up. I still didn’t understand.

I needed to clean.

I wanted my control back.

And I knew there was a mess waiting for me back in the dormitories.

At least that was the plan until I came face to face with Albus.

“You.” He seethed. “I’ve been looking for you.” He was angry, I could tell so I reckoned he probably hadn’t come to find me to congratulate me on not dying.

Typical.

“Look at what your brother just did.” He pointed to his face. There was a gash on his forehead and his lip was cut.


I shrugged, feeling no sympathy for him. “Don’t mess with the Notts.” 

Albus breathed in angrily. “You’re a bitch.”

“That I am.” I didn’t even try to deny it. It was true. “But you’re no saint yourself either.”

It was Albus turn to shrug which only fuelled the anger I had gained since waking up.

“Why didn’t you fucking drag me out?” I asked, unable to resist the temptation. “I mean, you pushed me in there and you could obviously see me drowning when I didn’t come up to the surface.”  I snapped with my fists clenched in tiny little balls. He always made me ruin my perfect composure and turned me into a raging beast. I just wanted to destroy. Everything I tried to hide about myself, all the ugliness, was pushed to the surface. I felt like I had lost control again.

“I thought you were messing around.” He shrugged like it was nothing. “Just another trick.” He smirked at me. “One of your pathetic plans.”

“I almost died.”  I knew it. He knew it. Yet I saw no remorse etched on his face. His eyes didn’t cloud over and he didn’t falter one bit. He truly was a monster. Humans had feelings. Albus was sadistic and he was scaring me, but I refuse to show it, I too stood defiantly at him, trying to make him feel something. I wanted to punish. Feelings were our own personal torture device. We couldn’t control them, they worked on a will all of their own and most of the time, you end up feeling shit because of them.  Guilt, sadness, fear, hate. Those emotions controlled my single existence. A constant merry go around that wouldn’t fucking let me off.

“What are you fucking expecting Pippa?” I stared at him in horror, he had called me Pippa. This unnerved me to my very core and I wasn’t sure why. He was in my face now, taunting me. He was pushing this argument into explosive territory and I wasn’t sure any of use could handle the consequence but we were both too stupid and too stubborn to even care. Just needed to hurt the other. Who even gave a damn if you took some hits too? If you took down the other person, it would always be worth it. I would destroy myself if it meant I could destroy him.

“I’m not a hero.” He told me and I froze as the hairs on my neck stood on end. “I never am and I never will be.” He was confessing again and I was freaking out. “And do you know what?” I shook my head as my skin prickled. I felt like I was being swarmed by bees. I needed to escape but I was trapped in those green eyes that for a single second, seemed alive again. But when I blinked, they were back to being dead so maybe It was all just an illusion. Nothing made sense at the moment and I could barely think straight. “I don’t want to be.” He smirked manically at me. “It’s better this way.” This was war.

“What?” I snapped. “Being so fucked up that you-”

Albus laughed. “You’re one to talk.”

He was right, I was a hypocrite.

“You refuse to love anything anymore as you’re scared you’ll lose again, that once again, you will be hurt.” He trailed his fingers across my cheek. His knuckles were grazed. It seems that Albus fought back.  “I’ve got news for you sunshine, people hurt each other, it’s just the way it goes. One day you’re going to be hurt, you can’t stop it.”

He was turning the tables on me again. I noticed but I was powerless to stop it. Albus wasn’t an easy foe to take down. He was his own kind, something I had never encountered before.

“Have I offended you?” He laughed and I just stood there. “It’s a good thing that I don’t really care then.”

I reached up to him and touched his wounded lip. He flinched. “You deserved that.” I smiled at him. “You deserve a whole lot more.” I trailed my fingers across his bloody forehead. “He went easy on you.”

“Scorpius isn’t speaking to me either.”

“You deserve that too.”

“I deserve what? You did it first. The only problem is that you didn’t climb out of the damn water, you got dragged out like a doll.” He was in my face now.

“Shut the fuck up.” I warned.

“Why?” Albus laughed.

“Because I said so.” I tried a different tactic. “I know what happened to you.” Albus seemed to freeze moment and I could see the horror in his eyes. Of course, I was bluffing but I was a good liar. “I know all your secrets.” I smirked, finally enjoying the power I had over him. “So don’t try anything Potter.”

Albus smiled. “I don’t believe you.”

“Are you willing to risk it?”

He thought about it for a moment, whatever his secret was, he really didn’t want people finding it out and it killed him inside to think that I may know it.

This made me happy.

“Do what you will Nott.” He shrugged. “I can take anything you can throw at me.” He stepped away from me, breaking the close proximity we had just been sharing. He tried to pretend that it didn’t bother him but I knew it did as I watched him walked off. Albus never backed down from a fight and his secret bothered him enough to do so.

This was interesting.

I had to find out what happened in Albus’ past, even if killed me.

Because that power tasted good and I wanted more of it.

It had almost made me feel alive again.

It also terrified me.


Chapter 18: The One Where Scorpius Is A Sad Panda
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 Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hi. How are you all? Sorry this chapter has taken a bit of time, been very busy with college for a couple of weeks then it seemed to take ages to write once I had started the chapter. Easter holidays are coming up soon though! Thanks for all your support though, it means a lot.

Comments and opinions are welcomed! Also, got a new pretty banner, tell me what you think! Please keep reviews 12+ otherwise they'll be deleted. And this chapter has bad language in it, don't read if offended. 

Sorry for any mistakes, this chapter has not been beta’ed.

Also it’s 4am but I really wanted to post this so I’ll fix typos in the morning.

 






Chapter Eighteen –
The One Where Scorpius Is A Sad Panda

 

“How dare you say that to him?” I yelled furiously as my temper got the better of me. “Who the hell do you think you are?” The boy had his back pressed against the wall as I ganged up on him with my wand held to his throat. I didn’t know his name nor did I give a crap on what it was.

“Pippa.” Scorpius gripped my shoulder. “Calm down.” He pleaded with me but I refused to listen. This boy had pissed me off and I needed to punish them.

“I will not calm down.” I yelled at him as Scorpius flinched. “He just called you Death Eater offspring scum.” The boy glared at me trying to challenge me. I eyed my wand, daring him to push me even further. The boy instantly looked to the floor.  “Then he ranted about your family, my family and no one talks shit about our family.”

“I’m used to it.” Scorpius shrugged sadly but this only made my anger rise. No one was allowed to put him down. He didn’t deserve it. “It’s no big deal, just another person that can’t let go of the past.”  He looked at me with those wide innocent grey eyes and something inside me calmed but I still refused to drop my wand.  Scorpius didn’t like seeing me like this.

I had been so angry at everything lately that it only took one little thing to set me off. I didn’t understand why I was feeling so angry towards life nor did I understand why I was protecting Scorpius. I still didn’t give a damn about the boy but I couldn’t just stand there and watch the injustice that was happening. It may be true that Scorpius was the offspring of a Death Eater, but he wasn’t scum. Scorpius couldn’t even hurt a fly. We once had to have a funeral for a ladybug because Scorpius stepped on it and felt really bad. Scorpius sang a song about seashells and I was made to give a speech. Damien was made to do a dance so I think I got off lightly to be honest.  Maybe it was because they had not only insulted Scorpius, they had insulted my family and I wasn’t taking that.  The things they said were sort of true but I didn’t want to be punished for my families Death Eater connections. I had plenty of my own mistakes to be punished for; I’d be damned before I started taking hell for other peoples. I was just a carousel of emotions spinning most recklessly.

Scorpius wanted me to back off so I slowly relented. I stepped away but my wand didn’t drop. I didn’t want the boy to think I was soft and they could do this again. I would never grow soft. Soft wasn’t in my nature even though I looked gentle. It’s always said that appearances could be deceiving. 

“You say anything about my family again and I’ll hex you.” I warned before leaning in closer. “And remember, I know all the best bad ones.” I whispered. I didn’t really but this boy never had to know that.  “Now go.” I ordered as my wand dropped to my side. “Remember, next time I won’t be as nice.” The boy scowled at me before storming off quickly.

"What the hell was that Pippa?” Scorpius asked as he linked my arm. I cringed but I couldn’t find the energy to fight him off. “I mean, usually you look harmless but you looked seriously scary then.” He pouted. “I think I’m going to have nightmares about it later.”  He clung tightly to me, almost as if he was afraid of something.

Scorpius had become my shadow ever since his fall out with Albus a week ago. He was needier than ever, something had shaken him. In his eyes, Albus had betrayed him somewhat. Albus may hate me, but Scorpius loved me, so Albus should have attempted to save me for Scorpius. The fact that he did nothing hurt Scorpius and it showed. Scorpius was sad lately and I didn’t know what to do to make him be normal again, I wasn’t a fan of this Scorpius. I was too used to Scorpius being everyone’s sunshine. Scorpius changing petrified me more than anything because he was the only truly stable thing in my life. He had never let me down, shocked me nor had he ever betrayed me. There was something I was sure that Cassie was keeping from me and Damien’s recent betrayed still cut deep. I used to think I was content in my loneliness that resided deep within me but now I wasn’t so sure. I started to wonder when I stopped being so independent but I was sure I hid it well, after all the only thing that is worse than being lonely, is other people knowing that you are. 

Everything I had ever experienced, Scorpius was always near, refusing to leave my side even though I kept on pushing him away with everything I had. I hoped that if I pushed him away enough, he wouldn’t come back but I always knew that if I wanted him, he would turn up with that smile that refused to dampen. He was there when breathing stopped feeling involuntary and when smiling became a stranger to me. I was a skeleton that bled through its bones. He never rejected me, despite seeing my ugly true colours many times.

I trusted him despite trying not too.

And that scared me far too much.

The worried feeling towards Scorpius mental state wouldn’t let up. I didn’t know why I was feeling this. I hadn’t made Scorpius stop talking to Albus, even though I was sort of the reason he wasn’t but I hadn’t done it personally, it was Scorpius choice to get mad at Albus’ mistake but something kept my stomach tied in knots.

I shrugged.

Scorpius looked at me; there was still that sparkle his eyes that I had never found in anyone else’s. He was about to say something but I quickly cut him off.

“So,” I started, “How are things with you and Harper?”

“She wrote me a poem yesterday.” He smiled at me. “It mentioned fish and birds…she didn’t know I was afraid of birds.” Scorpius once started hyperventilating because a pigeon wouldn’t stop looking at him. It had evil eyes apparently and it was plotting his downfall. “I loved it though.” He grinned happily. 

“That’s…” I felt like vomiting. “…sweet.”

“It is, isn’t it?” Scorpius hummed a happy tune to himself. “I really like her, that’s okay right? Am I supposed to love her by now?” He ran his fingers through his hair.

“All relationships are different; there is no need to rush these things.” I told him. “You still have your whole ahead of you; you don’t have to marry the first person you date.” I still wished I had that possibility.

Scorpius smiled warmly at me and I felt like smiling back at him, but I stopped myself. I wasn’t ready to surrender to him yet. Smiling would make him think I cared. It would reveal that he had my trust and I never wanted to admit that. I didn’t even want to think about it, I trusted him but I still would tell him nothing. I was just waiting for a reason to not to trust Scorpius, but Scorpius never gave me one. I knew that I should trust no one and I cursed myself for being so weak.

"This stuff scares me a little.” He admitted. “It’s even worse than my fear of bees and you know if I had a choice between a dragon and a bee, I’d choose the dragon every time.”

“But bees are tiny, couldn’t you could squish it really easily?” I raised my eyebrow.

“That’s murder Pippa! All animals should be respected.” Scorpius scolded me and I just shook my head. For an animal lover, Scorpius was scared of a lot of them but he wouldn’t even hurt an ant. “I mean, a lot of them are pretty defenseless and-“ I cut him off because I knew that Scorpius’ ramblings could last for hours.

“-I get it,” I interrupted. “Don’t hurt the poor little animals.” I poked him the forehead and he just stuck his tongue out at me. Both of us are the epitome of mature but I always enjoyed the moments of nothingness where thoughts weren’t dragging me down. 

“Speaking of animals,” Scorpius said looking at me. “I feel like a very sad panda, like a panda that has no one to cuddle and no bamboo sticks to eat.” Scorpius admitted and I felt sick. He was because of me. Mostly Albus but I knew I wasn’t innocent. I never was.

“You miss Albus?” I sighed and he nodded.

Scorpius grew attached to people too easily. He loved too much, he cared too much and this made him too open to be hurt. Scorpius never gave up; he would try again and again even when it seems all hope was lost. He would get shoved to the floor and pick himself up straight away.

Scorpius believed in the good in people. He loved them, despite their flaws.

I didn’t understand his friendship with Albus. I didn’t understand how such a messed up individual was able to continue a friendship with someone so pure, but that may just be my prejudiced talking. I often wondered why Scorpius bothered, but Scorpius would put up with anything from someone he loved. He was a pushover. He would back down in arguments and grovel, even when he was right. He would never say anything back arguments, he’d take it all, I asked him once why he did that, he told me that people say horrible things when they’re angry and you can never take them back. You can never make the other person forget what you said and you would never know how much those angry words tormented someone you loved. I knew that words people had told me in the heat of the moment played on my mind and probably would do for a long time. Scorpius never wanted to do this to someone. Sometimes words are not enough, sometimes they’re too much.

I remember a six year old Scorpius, sitting at the top of the stairs and listening to the argument of his parents. He was in tears. He didn’t have anything to worry about; his parents loved each other, but every once in a while, they hit a rough patch like most long-term couples do. Arguments were too scary for him, people said stuff they didn’t mean and too many arguments were the kiss of death.

“Why don’t you talk to him then?” I suggested, even though I didn’t want too. “I mean, I’m sure he misses you too.” That was a little white lie. I wasn’t sure, not at all. I wasn’t even sure that Albus had emotions or even the capability to miss someone.

“I’m waiting for an apology…or something.” Scorpius told me. “But Albus hasn’t apologized in years, so I’m going to be waiting for a long time I think.” This didn’t surprise me; then again, I was in the same boat. I didn’t do apologies. “But I hate being mad at people.” Scorpius hated it because he wasn’t used to it. He was too accepting, almost to a fault. For me, being mad at someone is just another typical day. “So I get sad, but then I remember that this feeling is only temporary, it’ll pass like everything else and not to give up…or at least that’s what my mom tells me.” Scorpius was being positive again, this was a good sign. “Tomorrow is a new day, a new chance…I just miss him.” It was a new thing to him, to watch your friendships unravel with such speed, that you don’t even have time to grab hold of them.

“Scorpius,” I said. “Why are you friends with him anyway? He’s like your polar opposite; don’t you get depressed after hanging out with him? He’s angsty-“

“-You’re angsty.” Scorpius countered.

“Alright,” I shrugged. “He’s negative-“

“So are you.”

“He has issues!”

Scorpius laughed at me and I frowned at him. “Pippa, so does everyone else. You wouldn’t be able to find someone who doesn’t have at least a little bit of baggage.” He shrugged. “Some people just hide it better than others.” He paused for a moment. “I like Albus because he treats me like I’m a normal person, he defends me to all the ignorant people out there, he’s honest too,” I rolled my eyes at Scorpius. “There are lots of things I like about him actually.”

“That’s nice.” I sneered as I snatched my arm back, unlinking us.

Scorpius shook his head. “He’s been through a lot, if you got to know him, you’d realize he isn’t that bad.”

“He’s evil.” I protested childishly.

“Sometimes, there is just no winning with you my little sunshine.” Scorpius flicked me in the forehead.

“That’s because I’m not a loser.”

"Keep telling yourself that sunshine.” Scorpius laughed and I scowled. “If the wind changes, you’ll stick like that…sunshine.”

 “Stop calling me sunshine!” I pushed him and Scorpius barely moved an inch.

 I was seriously weak.

I mean, I couldn’t even push over Scorpius.

 And that is pretty pathetic.

“You’re so hardcore.” Scorpius said before he muttered the password to the common room. It seemed we had arrived at our destination and I haven’t even realized. I rolled my eyes at Scorpius before walking into the common room.

Scorpius followed, ever the sheep. The common room was pretty empty; it seems we had been out longer than I thought. Scorpius had dragged me out earlier to help on his patrol duties as the girl who he usually does it with couldn’t be bothered. Scorpius somehow was made prefect in fifth year, I don’t know how it happened either. I mean, Scorpius trips over his own shoelaces, so who the hell would want to give him responsibility? I mean, even I would have been better for the job, even though you know; I would have totally abused my power. I’d be docking points from everyone who annoyed me. It’s not like I cared really that I had never been chosen, as I found tagging along with Scorpius tonight, being a prefect was kind of boring. Still though, his badge was shiny.

“Well that patrol with you was lovely.” Scorpius ruffled my hair “You know, despite the fact that you threatened that boy and tried to push me over for calling you sunshine.” I just shrugged, it was all true. “But thank you for talking to me and your advice, it means a lot.” He kissed me on the forehead. “Good night sunshine. I hope you actually get some sleep tonight, you look tired.”

“Are you trying to tell me I look rubbish?”

“Of course not.” He laughed before strolling up to the boy’s dormitory and I walked towards the girl’s dormitory. I pushed the door open to find Cassie arguing with a furious Emilie.

It was just normal night in the sixth year girls dormitory then.

“Where is my bloody essay Holmes?” Emilie yelled in Cassie’s face. “If you don’t tell me right now, things will start to get ugly.” Cassie didn’t even flinch; instead she just rolled her eyes.

“Will it get uglier than your face?” That was a lie, Emilie was pretty. Even I could admit that because I had eyes. “Because I don’t think that’s possible.” Cassie covered her eyes. “Stop looking at me! You’re scaring me! I’m going to have nightmares!” Cassie snickered before her hands fell from her face to her side. 

“You’re pathetic Holmes, pathetic!”

“That’s cool.” Cassie laughed. “Think that I’m pathetic, I don’t really care what you think about me.”

“Of course you don’t, little Cassandra Holmes, thinks about herself and just uses people to get what you want.”

“I am not little; I think you’ll find Pippa is the midget in this room.” Cassie pointed at me. Emilie had just told her she was self centered and used people, yet she chose to defend herself on the little remark? I’ll never understand people.

“Hey!” I protested, not wanting to be brought into another one of their many fights nor did I want my height ridiculed.

Emilie sighed. “It’s like arguing with a monkey when I argue with you sometimes.” 

Cassie shrugged. “Monkeys are cool and I like bananas, so I’m alright with being compared to a monkey. Also monkeys are really smart so in fact you kind of just gave me a compliment, so cheers!”

“Just give me my essay back? I spent hours on it and I’m not letting you steal it like last time. It got marked at troll!” Cassie had stolen Emilie’s essay, swapped it with her own and then taken the credit for Emilie’s essay which earned her an O. Cassie often takes Emilie’s stuff and hides it but she’d been doing it more and more lately. 

“No.”

“No?”

“That’s what I said, no.”

“You’re such a bitch Holmes.”

“Thanks, you’re sweet heart.” Cassie smirked. “Anyway, I’m going to take a wash and get ready for bed.” She walked towards the bathroom. “If you find it Zabini, tell me because you deserve a medal or something.”

“Slag.” Emilie yelled at her.

“I love boys and they love me, who am I deny them?” Cassie winked before she gave one last wave and slammed the bathroom door behind her.

“I hate her.” Emilie muttered. “I really do.”

“That’s nice.” I told her as I looked through my stuff. I didn’t want to talk to her, if I did; it just brought back the pain of Damien betraying me back to the surface. Also I couldn’t imagine why Damien would love her other than for her aesthetically pleasing face. She used to be a good person, but as the years had gone by, she had changed into someone else entirely. She had no friends, considering that me, Emilie and Cassie were the only sixth year Slytherin girls, it wasn’t all surprising. It started off as a friendship of convenience that developed into something more.

Emilie shuffled her feet. “I would have thought you would have some questions to ask me….Damien said you know about us…well me and him.” I cursed her, I had hoped never to talk about it, I was learning all this new information lately that I really didn’t want to know and not learning the answers to things that I desperately wanted to know. 

“Nope.” I shrugged. “I don’t have anything to ask you.”

“Seriously?” Emilie stared at me.

“Nope, I don’t want to know about you fucking with my brother’s heart or how you plan to destroy it.” I pulled out my cleaning supplies, I needed to clean, I really did. I needed to channel these emotions into something productive.

“What do you think that?” She asked. I was trying to run and she wouldn’t let me. She never did.

“You’re in this pathetic secret fling, you won’t even get into a relationship with him and you don’t acknowledge him in the halls or anything.” I told her. “That seems like fucking with someone’s heart to me.”

Emilie smiled. “You would know all about that wouldn’t you?”

I laughed snottily as I looked at her. “That’s because I learned from the best.” It was true, Cassie and Emilie have taught me a lot of things, some of them good but most of them are bad. In turn, I had shared my knowledge. Thus when we fought fire with fire, it was always an equal match. There is something having your ex best friend as your enemy, she knows all your weak spots and your secrets. It means you can never let your guard down.

Emilie looked me up and down. “All this isn’t my fault, I didn’t ask your brother to like me.”

If it’s one thing that is guaranteed to annoy me, if people who blame on person for everything, they see themselves with rose tinted glasses. You could say a lot of things about me, but I know when I’ve done wrong. I just don’t do anything to correct my mistake usually or stop myself from making another horrible decision. I knew Emilie wasn’t innocent. She had played Damien. I knew it, she knew it and even Damien knew it.

"Don’t play dumb Emile. I once saw you punch someone who tried to kiss you when you didn’t like them.” She also kicked him but I decided to leave that out. “You wanted to kiss Damien, I’m not sure why, to get at me maybe?” I found my box of cleaning supplies, the urge to clean got bigger as each second ticked by. It was manifesting itself into a monster that needed to let out of its cage. “If that was it, I don’t care.” I lied. I did care but I didn’t want to tell her that.

“The world doesn’t revolve around you Pippa. It’s not always about you.”

“I never said it did.” I sighed. “But whatever you can do what you want with Damien, I don’t care; he’s an adult that can take care of himself.” I shrugged.  “He’ll figure you’re not wonderful soon enough.”

“Then I’ll be like you I guess.” Emilie whispered but I didn’t understand what she meant. Emilie would never feel like me after losing Damien because I simply refused to believe she cared about him. Emilie’s and Damien’s relationship is nothing like the one I was involved in. We were in love. I invested so deeply that I had been left with nothing when he left. Emile could never understand how it is and what it is like to feel broken. She couldn’t understand the intoxicating madness that comes hand in hand with your pain.

She couldn’t.

Emilie couldn’t care about Damien.

This was too weird and I felt my prejudiced rise up, polluting my thoughts.

I didn’t understand Emilie. I had never understood her really. I only understood certain things about her when we weren’t friends and when we weren’t friends; I realized all the things I thought I understood were wrong.

I needed to get out of here. This was too heavy for me. I didn’t want my idea of Emilie changing. I needed to hate her. I needed to see her as this monster that ruined our friendship and hurt Cassie. I couldn’t see her as human.  

The very idea was absurd.

I picked up my cleaning supplies and went to escape then but Emilie grabbed my wrist tightly.

She stared at me with blank eyes.

“Do you want to say something?” I gestured to her hand around my wrist.

Emilie thought for several moments that felt like hours, before slowly shaking her head. “I have nothing to say to you.” She dropped my wrist and I felt her gaze follow me as I walked out the door and slammed it behind me.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Nothing had changed. The order was still intact.

Emilie is still the enemy.

It’s all okay.

I walked quickly to the common room and found it to be beautifully empty. I walked into the middle of the common room and breathed in as I heard the sound of swishing water.

It’s the small things in life.

I opened my box of cleaning supplies. I got out my four major things that I needed a long with my bowl. I started my familiar routine. I took out my furniture polish first with the cloth that I only used for polishing. I placed them next to each other in a neat straight line. Next came out the scrubbing brush that I placed next to the polish neatly. I breathed in softly as I completed the final part of my routine, I pulled out my prized buffing cloth; the emerald coloured one.

Ah, it feels good to feel restricted by my routine. Too much had been changing lately and I wasn’t adapted to deal with it. I hated change.

I hated it more than anything because most of the time things just change for the worst.

I sprayed the table with polish and scrubbed the table until my hands stung.

It felt good.

I surveyed my work, it was perfect. Truthfully it always was because I would never give up until it was perfect.

I leaned back from the table and rest my back against the sofa as I sat there on the floor. I closed my eyes. I still didn’t feel completely right. There were still things wrong in my world. There was still so much I couldn’t even begin to understand.

“What are the chances I’d find you in here?” Albus snickered. I opened my eyes to find him leaning against the sofa, sitting on the floor, looking at my bottle of polish. “This doesn’t look like the cheap stuff.”

“It isn’t.” I said snatching it from him. “Don’t touch my stuff Potter.” I snapped at him. “Never touch my bloody stuff you twat.” I had a problem with people touching my things, even though I touched other peoples and cleaned them all the time. I just couldn’t stand it. I cleaned all my things, only for people to mess them up with their dirty germs. I hated it.

Truthfully, I shouldn’t have got so angry but I had all this anger and other emotions I couldn’t quite put my finger on building up inside me that I needed to release and Albus made the perfect verbal punching bag. Also I had something to ask of him and yelling at him wasn’t going to help me get it.

“Calm down dear.” Albus laughed which pissed me off that tiny bit more. “Why are you cleaning for this time?” He inquired, mockingly.

“What are you going on about?” I rolled my eyes.

“You use cleaning and your other obsessive compulsions as an emotional crutch.”  Albus pointed out in a ‘duh’ tone like I didn’t understand that already.

“There is nothing wrong with things being clean.” I defended myself anyway, even though I knew he was right. “And why are you not asleep?” I fired back, wishing to move the attention away from myself.

“Sleep is being a bitch.” Albus was playing a game and I couldn’t figure it out.

My mouth felt dry. “I want you to become friends with Scorpius again.” I said, even though I didn’t want to say it, I needed to, for my own sanity and for Scorpius’ too. For the first time in my life, I was doing sometime good and I felt dirty because of it. I was only doing it because Scorpius being whiny was driving me crazy. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

“Why would you want that? You’re kind of the reason he isn’t speaking to me.” Albus shrugged. “I mean that’s what you wanted wasn’t it? Isn’t it part of your master plan?”

“I never asked for him not to talk to you.” Truthfully, I may be a little sick and twisted, but I would never ask Scorpius to do that. I’d rather him give me up than Albus. “And Scorpius is part of no plan.” I glared at him. “Let’s keep it that way.” I stared at him, hoping he’d get the message that Scorpius was off limits.

Albus laughed cruelly. “What is this Nott? Anyone would think you cared about Scorpius for something.”

“I don’t.” I denied. “It’s just irritating having him around me all the time.” Albus raised his eyebrow. “He’s clingy.” There was a truth amongst the lies.

“You can be so deluded sometimes that it’s almost painful to watch. You care about him; you’re going to have to accept it sooner or later.” He sneered, shaking his head at me. “Has Scorpius said anything about me?” It seems that despite everything, Albus cared for Scorpius. Scorpius was his weakness. He was best friend and he had not taken his loss lightly. It unnerved me to see that Albus cared about something. He was apathetic about most things that I really was surprised. I truly would never understand their friendship; it seemed co-dependent with a bunch of other things mixed in.

“He said he’s a sad panda.” I told him.

Albus frowned. “I’ll think about it.” He said like he wasn’t even bothered. Albus was a brilliant actor.

I smirked to myself; I knew I had done enough. Sometimes things were so simple but most of the times they were so complicated, I was pleased to see this was simple.

Scorpius would have his best friend back when he woke up.

“It’s probably best that Scorpius doesn’t spend too much time around you, you’re like poison and you’ll ruin him soon enough.” Albus stood up. He was right; I wasn’t any good for Scorpius but neither was Albus really. “Also, Lily is still with Emmett. Fucking do your worst and split them up.” I hadn’t forgotten my task; I just simply hadn’t had the time to focus on it.

“Sorry, I was too busy almost dying and all that shit.” I snapped, my rage coming back.

Albus rolled his eyes. “Change the record or something will you?”

“You’re a twat.” I told him, before picking up my polish and throwing it at him. It missed, I always had crap aim. It hit the floor with a thud and we both stared at it for a moment. I cursed myself for losing control, but at the moment, my emotions were driving me fucking crazy. I didn’t know what control was at the moment.

“I know.” He replied simply staring at me as I stared at the chucked polish. “And you’re a bitch.” He added.

“I know.” I shrugged. “Glad we got that covered, is there anything else you want to add?” My hatred for him grew.

Albus said nothing but headed towards the boys dormitory. I watched him until he was out of sight.

Even after that, I still felt like I was exploding. My emotions were eating me out from the inside.

I couldn’t control them.

My anger didn’t evaporate and my sadness was drowning me.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I picked up my polish off the floor. I inspected it and I found a small dent in it.

It was imperfect. It was ruined.

It was a lot like me then.

I pulled my knees close to me and hummed softly to myself as I wished the bad thoughts would go away.

I stayed like that for hours. 


Chapter 19: The One With The Quidditch Match
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note - Oh! Hello there! Do I have any readers left? Sorry for the wait on this chapter, the wring bug took a leave of absence and I wondered whether I still liked writing…it turns out, I do. Once I started to work on this chapter, the bug came out of retirement and hopefully he’s around to stay for a while. Also, I struggle writing things all do with quidditch, probably shouldn’t have included it in the story but hey, I like challenges. Thanks for all your support, this probably wouldn’t have got done without you. Tell me what you think! Comments are always welcomed, whether they’re damning a character to hell (and keeping it 12+), fantasying about the future, (Pippa/Albus? What is this shenanigan?) or talking about how cuddly Scorpius is. Also tell me if I’ve messed up anyone’s quidditch positions, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned what position anyone played but you never know.

Please keep all reviews 12+, otherwise they will get deleted.

This chapter has bad language, don’t read if offended.

Please excuse the mistakes, this chapter has not been bete’ed and it’s the first thing I’ve wrote in over 3 months, so it may be rough. Also, it's 4am :)








Chapter Nineteen – .
The One With The Quidditch Match

“Why is an orange called an orange, but a grape not called a purple?” It was lunch time and Scorpius was pondering the questions of the universe. He held up the orange as if it would suddenly reveal all the answers. Cassie gave Scorpius a strange look as he eyed the orange suspiciously.

“Yep, he’s a crazy alright.” She muttered to herself as she shook her head.

“It is because unlike oranges, you can get two colours of grapes, duh.” I held up a green grape and a purple grape to show him before stuffing them both in my mouth.

“Okay then, why is an apple not called a green?” He challenged me.

“Red apples, green apples…” I shrugged. “It’s the same thing with the grapes.”

Scorpius thought about the next question for at least a minute, which for him, was a really long time. “Why is an orange called an orange, but a strawberry…” He stopped himself. “Oh crap, that’s got those little green dots in.” I snorted at Scorpius’ description. “I’ve got it.” He yelled loudly. People turned to give him odd looks but Scorpius was very well known for being strange and a little bit dumb. I glared at them all and they stopped playing us attention. “Why is an orange called an orange, but a banana not called a yellow?” He looked so pleased with himself.

“Just because that’s what they’re named.” Cassie poked Scorpius in the forehead. “No one cares why.”

I care,” Scorpius sniffled.

“I know you do sweetie.” Cassie patted his head patronizingly but Scorpius saw it something she did lovingly. “Why are you asking Pippa anyway? Sometimes she’s dumber than you.” She smirked as me, before taking a sip of her orange juice.

“Hey!” I said, deeply offended. “I am not that stupid!” No one could be as stupid as Scorpius, it was impossible.

“You can be.” Scorpius agreed. “Sometimes you’re a bit slow on the uptake.”

“Meh.” I folded my arms across my chest grumpily as I glared at them both. I decided to change subjects from my occasional stupidity. I wasn’t the only person who suffered from stupidity sometimes, Cassie was guilty of it and Scorpius was the poster boy for stupidity. “Have you heard from Albus?” I inquired as Cassie raised her eyebrow at me which I just ignored. I was just curious after the chat I had with Albus a few days ago, Scorpius seemed happier but I wasn’t sure whether he was just ignoring his sadness and embracing his happiness.

“Oh yes!” Scorpius grinned happily. “We’ve sorted it.” He didn’t elaborate. I had hoped he would, part of me was curious whether Albus could mutter the sorry that Scorpius was looking for or had managed to wrangle himself out of the situation and into Scorpius good books again. I was disgusted at the curiosity I held. I should have no interest in the psycho but his secret still intrigued me. I hated myself for that. “I don’t feel like a sad panda any more.”

“Did he say what prompted him to make amends?” I wondered out loud.

Scorpius eyed me suspiciously. “Nope, he didn’t.” He took a bite out of his sandwich. “I suppose he just missed me.” Scorpius said happily, with his mouth full and I wondered whether I’d miss Scorpius if he went away.

Nope, I wouldn’t.

In fact, I’d probably feel relieved.

For at least a day.

Scorpius would never know I meddled in his affairs to ensure his happiness and I was perfectly fine with that. For the moment, this was Scorpius’ happily ever after and that’s all really mattered.

“I suppose he did.” I yawned; I was currently in another episode of my insomnia. I hadn’t slept in several days, not since that stupid chat actually. I was running on empty lately, my mind was buzzing but my body was growing weary. I needed to sleep for a week but I knew that sleep was impossible. The common room is looking especially clean and I labelled all Cassie t shirts. I even brushed PJ and Uggers last night. I don’t even like the things, but no sleep messes with my likes and dislikes.

Then Uggers bit me on the chin and I swore at it and poked PJ in the eye with the comb.

Cassie says I’m never allowed to brush them again and that I’d be a terrible mother.

She’s probably right though.

It was strange to think that I had done something good.

It made me want to vomit.

“Are you excited about later?” Cassie nibbled her nails. “I am buzzing.”

I looked at her oddly; I had no idea what the hell she was on about. No sleep tended to make me rather forgetful amongst other things. “Huh?” Cassie looked at me furiously. “I have no idea what you’re on about.”

“How could you!”

“For a good five minutes yesterday, I wondered whether I was a ghost.” It was odd experience. “You know no sleep doesn’t agree with me, so lay off.” It seemed that snappiness clearly did though.

“You haven’t slept.” Cassie hissed furiously like I just told her I used all her lipstick up. “This is a disaster, what are we going to do!”

I ran my fingers through my hair and yawned.

“You have a quidditch match later Pippa, against Gryffindor, you know, your brothers team.” Scorpius said as I blinked at him. “You’re playing seeker…it’s the reason you’ve been going to all those practices lately.”

“It’s like talking to a zombie, no wait…it’s like talking to an idiot.” Cassie sighed.

I shrugged like it was no big deal. “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.” It was time to put my plan into action and I was nervous, amongst other emotions. I felt like I wanted to be sick again. “I have to use my eyes mostly and they’re fine.”

Cassie sighed angrily. “Just be on top form alright?”

I nodded, as the guilt seeped into my veins. “I promise I will be.” Cassie was satisfied with my lie, as I fiddled with the hem on my sleeve. I had always hated lying to Cassie. It always felt so deceitful. She had seen the mess I had been, she continued to put up with the mess I still was. Cassie didn’t deserve to be lied to but I lied to her anyway despite that.

I had never said I was a good friend.

Anyway, she would never find out, I would ensure that. I would lose but she wouldn’t blame me. One day she would leave me, but that wasn’t going to be anytime soon. She’d forgive me for losing, even though she loves quidditch, because I’d convince her that I tried my best and after all, no one can ask anything more from you than your very best.

I hummed softly to myself.

The anxiety didn’t subside.

So I welcomed it.

I don’t really remember the rest of the day, the conversations were too hazy and faraway for me to recall. I was focused on one thing; my plan. Cassie and Scorpius would be around tomorrow, but my chance wouldn’t be. I was in the quidditch locker rooms where I had got changed quickly and scooped my hair into a messy ponytail. My fingers traced my Slytherin badge that was stitch on my quidditch roads. Slytherin; born rotten from the start. Cassie sat on the bench as she stared into space.

Normally, I was already far away, waiting in the stands to watch her play so I had never witnessed this side of her. Quidditch knocked her normal impenetrable cool exterior.

“Don’t worry,” I said cheerily. “It’ll be fine.”

“We need to beat them.” She looked up at me. “We need to destroy Damien.” This wasn’t just a normal quidditch match; it was a mind field of personal issues. It was clear Cassie still hadn’t forgiven my brother for his Emilie betrayal. I hadn’t either, but I had a feeling I never would so I had to pretend like I did. Normal people are able to forgive people for mistakes, so I had to keep up my pretence.

I am not twisty.

I am normal.

“Still upset about Damien?” I questioned, as I picked up my broom, it felt heavier today.

“He’s a bastard.” She cussed, before sighing as she grabbed her broom. “Let’s go and see what Albus has to say as a motivational speech this time. Last time he just ended up calling us names and someone cried.” She went to walk off but stopped and turned to me. “And I know you are too, as much as you pretend you're not.” The tension lingered long enough for me to make a shitty joke.

“But I am Nott!” I jested.

Cassie laughed at me, a real laugh, not the fake one she used for other people. “You are so lame at times.” She turned away from me, quietly chuckling to herself as she strolled towards the team meeting and I gladly followed her.

The Slytherin team was sitting around Albus. He was the king and we were his soldiers. Cassie sat down and I remained standing, challenging the king who just dismissed my act of rebelliousness. I expected nothing less in front of an audience.

“I can’t be bothered to give a motivational speech, all that shit isn’t going to help anyway, but what is going to help us crush the gryffindors, is winning and how do we do that? By doing our worst and using the talents that we’ve been given.” Albus stared down the team, glaring at them. “Got that? I want to win.”

I yawned as everyone else just looked nervous.

Scorpius burst into the room. “How are you all?” He yelled happily as he ran over to me. “I just came to wish you luck before I have to do my commentating.” I gave him a weird look. “Oh! Did I forget to mention that? I’m the commentating this game!” I would have to listen to Scorpius voice for the whole game.

That wasn’t going to be distracting.

At all.

“Congrats, I suppose.” I muttered.

“I believe in you.” Scorpius smiled and I instantly wanted to hide. I managed to stand tall but inside I was a quivering unstable mess. He believed in me. He believed that I was here because I enjoyed quidditch. He believed that I wanted to win. Everything felt so very wrong. “I know you can do it.” If Scorpius was smarter, I would have believed that he was planting seeds of doubt on purpose. He was expecting me to be the heroine of this story. I was not a heroine of any story, not even my own. A real one wouldn’t be falling apart, stitch by stitch, becoming unsure of everything under Scorpius wide eyes.

I shook my head. The only option was to keep going, I was already in far too deep, and although I had sunk before, it was time to swim.

“Calm down Scorpius, it’s just a stupid quidditch game.” I snapped and Scorpius flinched like I had slapped him. Everything was seeping out, my wounds were oozing and I once again was trying to self sabotage. I felt Albus’ eyes on me but I chose to ignore them. I had something to do and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.

Cassie checked her watch. “It’s time.”

“I should go.” Scorpius mumbled at me. He didn’t give me chance to say anything because he just walked away, smiled at Albus and walked out of the room.

I sighed.

I walked behind Cassie as we walked slowly out of the changing rooms and onto the quidditch pitch. I stared at the floor because I was finding it hard to look any anyone. The gryffindor team were already there, waiting for us, waiting for the win that I was going to help them achieve.

I stood on the pitch feeling like an idiot, as I listened to the screaming crowds. It was understandable why people played quidditch. The fame, the glory, it’s tantalizing.

Fred stuck his tongue out at me; I had kept going to lessons with the younger chaser. I found he had a lot to offer and I secretly enjoyed them. I liked Fred’s company. He was happy without being irritating and he wasn’t stupid. I laughed at Fred before turning back to Cassie.

“I’m nervous.” She whispered.

“Don’t be.”

Damien stood in the middle of his team looking very proud of himself. Damien didn’t look at me because this was business. On this field, he would treat me as the enemy and forget I was his sister. We were nothing to each other right now.

“I’m going to make him look like the shittiest keeper ever.” Cassie smiled at me and I had no doubt about it. Cassie was an excellent chaser; people were always surprised that she hadn’t been playing all her life.

“Who is the gryffindor seeker?” I questioned.

Cassie pointed to a tall, thin girl with sandy coloured hair. “Darcy Finnigan, bring her down.” Cassie spoke coldly and I nodded.

“Welcome to the first quidditch match of the season.” Scorpius cheery voice boomed into the stadium. “It is Gryffindor verses Slytherin!” There was a pause. “Oh! I’m Scorpius! Scorpius Malfoy and I’ll be giving you your commentary today!” He laughed into the microphone. “The Slytherin team is being lead by the one and only Albus Potter. Hi Albus!” He shouted and I saw Albus lips almost curve upwards. “And the gryffindor team is lead by Damien Nott! Hello my second favourite cousin!” He yelled. Damien didn’t even notice.

Madam Smith stepped into the middle of the field, the boxes containing the bludgers and the golden snitch were positioned on the floor in front of her and the quaffle was tucked underneath her arm. “Shake hands.” She ordered Damien and Albus. Both of them glared at each other before shaking each others hand. Albus pulled his hand away first and wiped it on his quidditch robes as if Damien had a disease. “Now play nicely.” Madam Smith said sternly.

It was time to mount out brooms because the game I had been waiting ages to start was about to begin. I was a bag of nerves and I wasn’t sure how my legs were still supporting me because they felt like jelly.

Madam Smith released the bludgers first. I was relying on Albus to keep me protected from them.

Someone save me from this hell.

The golden snitch was released and I watched it flutter away.

Then she chucked the quaffle into the air and we all kicked off.

My flying was wobbly as I got to grip with my broom.

“Holmes has the quaffle, she’s a nifty flyer that girl! And she narrowly misses a bludger. Potter! Do your job.” He ordered. “And Holmes scores! Better luck next time Nott D I guess.” Cassie was smirking and Damien was cussing. “It’s ten-nil to Slytherin.”

I was just flying around in circles, keeping my eye on Darcy and avoiding the other players. It was a lot harder than it looked.

“Lowsley throws the quaffle to Weasley, who throws it back Lowsley.” Scorpius commentated. “This is like pace the parcel! Oh wait, Weasley just scored. Both teams have scored ten points which puts them on equal footing, oh wait, King has scored. Slytherin now have twenty points, to Gryffindors ten.” The slytherin team cheered and the gryffindors booed. “Holmes attempts to score but she is blocked by Nott D. Oh by the way Nott D is Damien Nott, since we’ve got Pippa Nott playing too and I thought that was the easier way to do it as I was told I’m not supposed to use first names. I have no idea why.” He was probably pouting right now.

I decided to play a few games with Darcy because this was quickly boring me. I dived pretended I had spotted something and Darcy quickly followed me.

“Has Nott P spotted anything? Finnigan is quickly on her tail.” I stopped my broom and just floated in midair to confuse her. She was no expecting that as she had to dive underneath me to stop her crashing into me. I flew to the opposite way that I was flying, casually. “I guess not then.”

I whistled to myself as Darcy glared.

“Weasley attempts to score, but he is blocked by Burnsnall.” Gryffindor booed. “King is in position of the quaffle who passes it to Holmes, who attempts to score but it is blocked by Nott D. and Potter has confused the Gryffindor beaters by putting off a perfect bludger backbeat! He’s rather good at those.”

I managed to narrowly miss a bludger that was flying towards me.

This game is really dangerous.

“Holmes had just performed an excellent sloth grip roll to avoid a flying bludger.” Scorpius cheered. “That girl is rather good. Lowsley is in possession of the quaffle and manages to score! Both teams have twenty points!” Gryffindor cheered. “Wilde has the quaffle who passes it to King to throws it to Holmes, who scores!”

I tuned out of Scorpius’ voice then. The game was still in session, players were doing their best and scoring goals, but I made no interest to which team scored. I hovered on my broom, missing bludgers when I had too, for at least half an hour but I couldn’t spot this damn snitch.


Eventually, it appeared. I spotted it first but Darcy was only seconds behind me. I whizzed for it. It was going towards the floor and we were both diving for it.

For some reason, I wanted the fame and glory.

I wanted to catch it.

I leaned out to grab it as I went to hit the floor, it hung near my hand, taunting me. The fingers were just about to grasp it...

...when Darcy grabbed it.

Both of us hit the floor with a terrible thud and the audience gasped. I groaned slightly as I rolled over and Darcy held up the golden snitch for everyone to see.

“Finnigan has caught the snitch! Gryffindor wins! Three hundred and forty points to slytherins three hundred and thirty.” Scorpius sighed. “Gryffindor wins, but it was a close one.”

I had lost.

I had won.

Albus’ face was full with anguish and fury, Cassie threw her broom to the floor in a fit of anger and I knew I had disappointed Scorpius. I could hear the cheers of the gryffindors and I saw my brother laughing with Fred. Instead of euphoria, all I felt was disgust and regret. The guilt was too heavy for me to carry but I had no one to turn to. I only had myself and she was bitch.

I wasn’t expecting to feel like this.

I was expecting happiness.

Instead I just felt empty.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

I ran as fast as my legs would carry me.

I needed to escape, from the situation and myself.

For some reason, I ended up in the astronomy tower. I knew it was usually empty unless classes were in session. I breathed in as I walked slowly towards the edge.

I threw up over the side.

I threw up until there was nothing left.

Then I curled up on the cold, hard concrete floor and lay there, in a tiny ball hoping the world would swallow me up again and never spit me out. I started sobbing softly to myself.

I tried to never cry, no matter how bad I was feeling because crying in a weakness but I was never really that strong, I was always the weak one, so I’m just going to lie in a ball on the floor sobbing to myself. My emotions had exploded, each one slipped out with each tear. I was a giant ball. My emotions recycled themselves, hate, loathing, guilt, disgust. I felt each one, over and over again. It was torture, but I deserved nothing less. I had betrayed Cassie. I had hurt Scorpius.

I was exhausted trying to keep up my pretence. I felt like I had lived a thousand lives through my wary sixteen years. I was a faker. I was a realist. None of them felt right. The roles I had carefully carved out for myself didn’t fit right, the idealist, the pessimist, the jaded lover, even the damsel in distress wasn’t me. I didn’t want to live like this but I was trapped. This was my nature. I had been condemned to this life.

I wanted to grow, I want to be happy but I just keep stumbling on to the wrong paths that take me further into my misery. I want to blossom and bloom into a fully functioning adult that was well adjusted to the world and one slight imbalance doesn’t make everything turn to shit. The filth and bitterness are roots that keep me firmly in the mud, I stare at the ground because I fear the sun will be too powerful and wilt me to nothing. I am nothing without my sadness, other than Scorpius, it was the only other constant thing in my life.

Truthfully, I can’t really remember what it was like not to feel like this.

I couldn’t do this anymore. There was only so much pressure glass can take before it breaks.

I closed my eyes and when I opened them, Albus Potter was there. He stared at me like I was this horrible fascinating creature that was insane.

“Fucking hell, Nott.” He ran his fingers through his hair. It was like he was seeing me as a human for the first time “You’re a mess.” There were never any truer words said. I put all my effort into building myself back up, block by block, only for something to crash into it horrifically and cause my downfall.

I had crumbled but this wasn’t the end. I was just a tad fragile at the moment; it’d be so easy if our hearts were made of stone, minds made up of steel and bodies made up of metal. Perhaps we’d all be a little less breakable. Eventually I’d learn to destroy what destroyed me, it’s just today was not that day. I had a feeing that day would never come.

“Give me five minutes,” I whispered. “I’ll be okay.” I suppose I would have been more convincing if I wasn’t sobbing.

“Five minutes? You need a century to sort of whatever the hell is going on inside that tiny brain of yours.” There was no malice in his words, just truthfulness.

“My brain isn’t tiny.” I tried to find the fire that kept me fighting him but I couldn’t. “Will you just leave me alone?” Albus was witnessing me crying. He clearly needed to not exist anymore.

“No.” He stated simply. “Is this all because you didn’t catch the snitch? I mean, yeah, you’ve made me look like an idiot in front of my parents, my mom was a professional quidditch player, my dad was on the team from first year and their fucking son can’t even lead a team that can win the quidditch cup but we only lost by ten points, so we can easily get more points and take the cup. I still wanted to beat Nott though.” The bitterness was evident. “And Cassie is a little bit angry; she’s punched your brother by the way.” Cassie had punched Damien? For some reason, this made me giggle. I was clearly growing delirious, I was giggling. “But it’s only a game at the end of the day, I guess, it’s nothing to be crying like a baby about.”

“It’s not that.” I whispered. “It’s everything else.” My walls had crumbled. There was nothing left to lose anymore. I hurt people until they leave me. He had killed anything good inside. Not that there was much to begin with, but he hurt me so bad and I was lost to the bitterness.

Albus looked at me with something I understood straight away; understanding but I despised him for that. I was expecting a snotty remark on how shit of a person I was, but it never came. Albus just stood there staring at me.

“I can’t escape myself.” The tears had dried up slightly and I would try my hardest to make sure they never returned. “These thoughts won’t shut the fuck up. They started off as little whispers now they’re screaming at me.” I was revealing how I truly felt sometime and it was like having the layers pulled off inch by inch, slowly.

“Kill them, ignore them or learn to live with them.” Albus bluntly told me. “It’s your only options.”

“I can’t.” I protested. I didn’t know how, I didn’t even know where to begin.

“Yes you can, Nott.” He pulled me up off the floor. “Stand on your own two feet and fight your damn demons.” I almost laughed. This was so hypocritical.

“Have you fought yours yet?” I looked up into his eyes.

“That’s none of your business; this is about you, not me.” He looked me up and down. “I’m not the one on the floor sobbing.”

“Fuck off Potter.” I said, but not really meaning it. I wasn’t sure why.

Albus nostrils flared. “This is the fucking problem, we’re too fucking alike, Scorpius is right, we will never be able to get on, too bitter, too fucked up.” There was a spark in his eyes. I knew he would use that spark to set me on fire and watch me burn up.

“I am not fucked up.” I yelled at him, my sadness had been replaced with anger. “And I’m not nothing like you.” I screamed as I went in for the kill. He took hold of my arms to try and calm me down and stop me from hitting him, I squirmed against him and I fought, but he wouldn’t let go, his grip burned me. I didn’t need a verbal punch bag anymore, I needed a physical one.

He pulled me so I was staring him directly in the face, his fury was evident. “You’re a fuck up.” He yelled at me as green eyes starred into mine and I was frozen. “Just like me.” I shook my head furiously. “It only takes one person to fuck you up.” I could feel his breath on my face. I wanted to headbutt him but something stopped me. For the longest moment, we just stood there, staring at each other, a loathing understanding. We didn’t want to understand each other, but we did because we’re cut from the same branch. As much as I tried to deny it, the truth screamed at me. My ignorance in this matter was bliss. I felt nervous as my throat grew dry. His eyes possessed my attention, for the first time I saw the hidden pain amongst the façade.

I almost felt alive.

Darkness surrounded us both and we both continued to drown, time and time again, unable to swim. Sometimes we were the cause of own darkness.

“We’re monsters.” I whispered and in that single moment, I felt close to Albus Potter. His touch felt human against my warm skin. Finally seeing each other for what we were and I was finally seeing myself for what I was, no mask or fakery.

“Possibly.” He shrugged, he still hadn’t let go. He clearly didn’t trust me not to try and hit him again. “But if you hide it well, no one really notices.” He smirked at me. This was true, people still attempted to get close to Albus, even knowing that he was a bit moody and would be a friend that was a handful. Girls attempted to give him love even though he couldn’t offer anything in return.

“I want to be fixed.”

“Don’t wish that.” He laughed. “Then you’ll just be like everyone else.” And that was sort of more terrifying than remaining broken for the rest of my life. At least this way, I can't be called ordinary. “Pain let’s you know you’re still alive somehow, despite everything.” I couldn’t really argue with that. “Now can I let go or are you going to turn into a raving madwoman again?” He questioned.

“I’m okay.” I told him, my temper had wilted, leaving numbness in its wake. He slowly let go but he braced himself for an attack, but it never came as emptiness came and I died all over again.

I sank to the floor and lay down. I stared up at the ceiling wishing my life was different. I wish that I had never met him. I would have never became this if I hadn’t. Albus lay down next to me, I wasn’t sure why nor did I want to question it. He was close enough to touch but the closeness I felt a minute ago had disappeared and was replaced with a cold feeling. I was so tired. I was so tired of everything. My life had changed since I started fighting with Albus; it was stupid to deny it. I knew that this was a terrible thing and if I could go back to that day, I’d just walk on by and never get involved.

The room was silent. I could hear his heart beating and I guess he could hear mine too.

“Potter?” I refused to look at him.

“Yes?” Albus answered wearily.

“Do you ever wish you could start over?” I spoke so quietly that I wondered whether he had heard it.

Albus took the longest moment to answer me before he sighed. “Sometimes."

I closed my eyes, I was feeling so sleepy. I was shutting down and I hoped I wouldn’t wake up for a while.

It was a long while before we spoke to each other again because words were running dry and Albus couldn’t be bothered to try to make conversation.

“I still hate you.” I told him, not opening my eyes. He understood something about me, I hated him for that, he was similar to me, I hated that, he was a twat, I hated that too, he witnessed my most human side, I hated him the most for that.

I heard him chuckle softly to himself. “Don’t worry, I still hate you too.”

And I believed him.

Those words comforted me because that meant that nothing was changing.

Tomorrow I would wake up amongst the familiar.

It was at that moment, that my body and mind finally gave up and I succumbed to sleep on the cold floor of the astronomy tower, next to Albus Potter.


Chapter 20: The One With All The Lies
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hi. How are you all? I hope you are well.

Pippa has been nominated for best OC in the dobby’s, this has made my year, thank you so much for your support, it means so much to me that you like Pippa and it continues to make really happy, so thanks for that. And we’re on chapter twenty! How did that happen! Hopefully updates should be coming monthly, some juicy things are going to happen soon and I want to get writing them, so here is your September update :)

This chapter uses bad language (as usual), please don’t read if offended. Also this chapter has not been beta’ed so please excuse the mistakes you may find. I hope you enjoy the chapter, comments and opinions are welcomed. You learn a few more things about the mysterious him :)











Chapter Twenty -
The One With All The Lies


It was his eyes that I couldn't resist, the way they stared at me, like I was the most wonderful girl in the world. Most of all, I loved the way I looked through them. He still thought I was perfect even when I was screaming in his face. The love he held for me was forever. It was given, it was a promise.

Those blue eyes that saw me as an angel.

My own blue eyes were being swarmed with tears. I closed my eyes, to shield me from the painful world. I wanted to disappear into nothing. I had been feeling like this for a while, a big black cloud was coming for me and I craved for it to swallow me up. I was already growing tired, weary from these chains that held me down, pinning me, unable to escape. I was young but I felt old. There was no longer a reason to crawl out of bed after another sleepless night, to unearth myself from under the sheets.  It was my cave, my hideaway from the world that was destroying me.  

I just wanted to sleep.

“Why are you unhappy?”  He brushed his fingers through my hair and kissed my forehead softly. His angel was crumbling and he couldn’t change a thing. His knuckles were covered in scabs and scratches, from the one too many fights he somehow ended up causing, but I liked that roughness about him. I always felt safe and protected.

I stared at him for a while, the silence was swallowing him whole so I offered a him a rope. “Because I’m unhappy.” I whispered as a lump rose in my throat and I thought I was going to breakdown all over again.

It was the best way I could describe it. I was unhappy because I just was. Even when it was sunny, it was raining. I needed to run so far away. I needed to escape myself. I needed to escape the urges that lived inside of me and block out the misery. It drips down my skin, slowly, he touches my hand and a little drip is shared. I have tainted him.

“If you keep on living like this, you’ll destroy yourself.” I shrugged like I didn’t care. It was impossible for me to think positive, that I could ever get well or how I used to be. This was the new me and I hated her.  “I don’t like seeing you like this, it kills me.” I was developing into the most vile version of myself. I was going the wrong way. I was meant to be crafting myself into something extraordinary. “I want to help, stop pushing me away.”  He begged and pleaded. It was no use, I wouldn’t let him in. I would walk into the darkness alone. He belonged somewhere different. This was the truth, this was the future and our relationship would slowly wilt and die even though despite the venom in my veins, I knew I didn't want to lose him. He was my person, my something to love, to have and fucking hold. Forever and always.

Things were changing, I didn’t like it but I was powerless to stop it. I am not god, just a mere mortal, not in control of my own emotions or anything around me. I am the actress, not the director.

“Nothing makes me happier than you,” He paused for a moment and I turned away from him. “Or sadder.”  He gripped my hand and I wanted to scream.

His words stung and the guilt started to mix in with my misery. The words sliced me into tiny pieces, leaving a bloody mess in it’s wake but I didn’t flinch nor did I show it. He made me want to die.

“Leave me alone.” I ordered pathetically, with no real force behind my words, all strength had been drained. I just wanted to be tortured by my own thoughts and not by his words. I could handle the lies of my mind, but not his truth.

He sighed. He didn’t want to leave me, for once. It made me want to cry all over again.

So, he just sat there, watching me, loving me for the imperfect person I was and I rejected it all.


It was the yelling that startled me, awakening me from my past into my present. My heart ached in a beautiful exhilarating way,
his memory staining me as I pushed the thoughts of him away and focused on the boy that was still lying next to me. I had expected him to leave, to awake alone and wonder if everything that had happened last night was just a sick dream. I wondered why he had stayed, as I knew I would have left him. The sun was slowly rising, it blinded me and I cursed it.

I had broken down in front of Albus. The walls had broken down. I breathed in deeply, as if it would be my last. I watched the boy, who was cold as snow, lose his battles with his demons. He kept them at bay when he was awake, but he relinquished control when he drifted off and they took full advantage of that, consumed him and swallowed him whole. As much as I would never speak the words out loud, Albus had helped me last night, and now, apparently,  it was my time to help him. Life can be such a bitch sometimes. It was forcing me to do crap I really didn’t want to do.

I punched him in the ribs.

“Wake up, Moaning Myrtle.”  I hissed, as I watched as he woke up terrified, shaking from his nightmares. He closed his eyes and when he had opened them, composure was regained. The familiar Albus was back and the other one I had only glimpsed at was gone and I would never see that side of him again. I would make sure of that. I preferred him treating me appallingly to treating me like I was human. I knew where I stood then. I hated the unfamiliar, it made me nervous and I hated the fact that things were spiralling out of my control. I needed to up my game and quick.  

Albus smirked at me. “Seriously? Moaning Myrtle? That was the best you could come up with? I’m almost disappointed.”

“It seemed to fit.” I scowled at him. “What are they about? Not being daddys little boy anymore? The precious middle Potter?” My game was on excellent form. I had gotten in the first attack.

Albus chuckled, sarcastically. He was unshaken, I would have to try harder. He was growing harder and I was growing weaker.  “You’ve woken up in a bitchy mood, all because I saw you cry.” I couldn’t help but cringe. He always got to me a lot easier than I could get to him. He worked out my sore points from the moment he laid eyes on me, but I was only beginning to figure out his. “And unlike you, Nott, some of us don’t break that easy. We can’t all be made of glass, it’d be a bloody catastrophe.”  He yawned. “You need to get your shit together or at least look like you’ve got it together, you’re getting painful to look at.”

“I could say the same about your stupid, ugly face.” I was turning into a child it seemed. Albus just laughed at me which only infuriated me more.

“You’re so hardcore.” He raised his eyebrow at me. “You wound me deep, my little kangaroo.”  The nickname had returned and I glared furiously at him.

“Don’t call me that.”  I snapped.

Albus laughed softly to himself. “Why?” He questioned as he leaned into my face, his breath tickled my skin. Those fucking eyes, that possessed me every time, made me unable to look away. I wanted to run away or push him away, yet I stood sat there, like his puppet, I waited for his next move. His face was pale and there was a manic smile on his face, it was demented, it was crazy, it wasn’t pretend, it was all too real. “Don’t you like it?” He was playing with me, using his angelic face but I resisted and counter acted. This game wasn’t over, it was only the start.

“I hate it.” I lifted up my hand and I saw the curious look in his eyes. He probably thought I was going to go mad at him again and try to hit him but instead, I let my fingers trace his face, taking in every tiny detail as my pulse raced. It was just an experiment, a way to get to him.  I finally took notice of the scratch that was on his cheek, the pale tiny scar above his left eyebrow, the lips that spewed venom at me that I couldn’t help but lap up. I brushed my fingers against his lips. His breathing was shallow and so was mine. I had stunned him for a moment, I had mesmerized him in my own way. I smirked and he recoiled from me, furious in the fact that I had caused something. “What?” I laughed, basking in all my glory. I was made of awesome. “Don’t you like it?” It was my turn to laugh at him. It made a welcomed change.

Albus stared at me dumbstruck for a moment before regaining control of himself.“I hate it.” He wiped his mouth with his sleeve. “Your touch repulses me.”  He stood up quickly. “If anyone asks, last night never happened.” He wanted to erase the moment we understood each other from history and I was fine with that because I had been a fool last night. I was embarrassed. To be honest, I thought it was probably the best idea Albus had ever had in his life. It would be our secret. The very idea of sharing something with Albus left my stomach in a heavy knot and made me want to be sick.

“You make it sound like...something life changing happened.” I mocked him, enjoying my power and going a bit delirious on it. “I will never stop hating you, I despise everything that you are.”

Albus shrugged. “It’s because I remind you of everything you hate about yourself, my stupid little kangaroo.”

I shrugged, I had started to accept that we shared an understanding that we didn’t quite knew how to cope with nor what it truly was, it’s just unhappy people recognize each other instantly. It’s a fact.  “I’ll tell Scorpius I was here alone, you can tell him whatever you want.” Scorpius was our link, I could give a different story to everyone else but the one we had to tell Scorpius had to match up. I hated the thought of lying to him, but I had no other choice. He was already too involved by having us both in his life.

Albus smiled softly to himself. “Don’t worry about that, Scorpius is used to my disappearing acts.” He gave me one last glance, the balance had been shaken and Albus left without his usual upper hand.

I was proud of myself, even though I felt cold. I stayed there for a little while, I half expected Albus to come back to start another row but he didn’t come.  Eventually, I got up and walked quickly out of the astronomy tower. I needed to wash, I felt like I was covered in germs. I had slept on the floor, I was practically a tramp. This was disgusting. I was now all germy, I could feel them crawling on my skin as I itched my arms, as I wanted to peal off all my skin and start anew. I would need to boil myself alive and scrub for hours until my skin was red. I had probably caught some disease and would be dead within the morning. Goodbye sweet world, you have been cruel and quite the bastard.

“Oi! Pippa!” I turned around to see Damien, followed closely by Fred and James. I stopped so they could catch up.

“What do you want?” I asked. I didn’t want to mess around. I needed to wash, I needed to clean. And for some reason, I wanted to see Scorpius, even when everything is utter shit, Scorpius makes everything seem better but I would deny this urge.

“Where have you been?”  He asked, curiously, but I knew there was nothing innocent about it at all. There was always a motive when it came to that dear brother of mine and it always came to bite me in ass.

“Why the hell do you care?” I asked. I was interested in what he had to say but I knew I wouldn’t like the answer.

“Just answer the bloody question.” He ordered and I just shook my head.

“You lost the right to boss me around when you started messing around with Emilie Zabini.”  I hissed to him. It was a low blow, I knew that but I couldn’t help it.

Damien sighed at me. “I thought we had sorted that out.” That was typical of Damien. He thought things were that simple, but I held a grudge that was going nowhere anytime soon. And he was forgetting that I was one bitter bitch. Maybe it was pathetic but I couldn’t help it. I loved him, but I didn’t like him.“Stop being a child.” And the worst thing of all? The real reason I couldn’t move past it all? Because Damien didn’t understand. He didn’t understand how much he had hurt me or how the way I viewed him had been forever changed. I used to view him as my King, I built him up into something he wasn’t and the person that I was looking at dissapointed me. I couldn’t help it.

Maybe it was my own fault.

And Damien wasn’t actually that bad.

“I’m not a child,” I snapped at him. “I just don’t think you have any right to interfere with my life and you don’t need to know where I am all the time, should I owl you everytime I make a move?”  Damien scowled at me. He hadn’t expected this. He assumed that I would comply like I had done all the times before. He had been a ghost in my life for several years now, if this was his way of becoming part of it again, he was going the wrong way about it. “But if you must know, I was in my dormitory.” I lied, hoping he would just believe it and I could go on my merry little way.

Damien raised his eyebrow. “All night?”

“Yes.” I sighed. “Anything else?”  My irritation was slowly rising with him but I had to keep it bottled up.

“Then why are you still in your quidditch robes?”  He questioned.

I looked down, oh crap, I had completely forgotten about that but the fact that Damien had even noticed surprised me, he wasn’t known for being observant. “I came back and passed out in my uniform.” I told him, the lies coming to me easily. “And now I’m heading for a bath, Scorpius told me the password to the prefects bathroom so I thought I’d check it out.” Truthfully, I had been using the prefects bathroom for over a year, I had forced the password out of Scorpius as soon as he put on that shiny badge onto his robes. The prefects bathroom was just so much nicer  than the regular ones. “Congrats by the way.” I added bitterly.

“You played well, Pippa.” Fred interjected, trying to diffuse the tension that was rising as Damien sulked and glared at me.

“I was surprised but you were awesome.” James added helpfully.

I rolled my eyes. “I lost though still, didn’t I?” The wound was still fresh, it seemed and I still wasn’t sure where I would go from here with quidditch. I didn’t even want to think about it.

“You’ve still got two matches though, it’s early days.”  Fred smiled at me and I just stared at him.

I sighed. “Maybe I don’t even care anymore.” Maybe I did. I was too confused about it all, I never wanted to feel like I did last night ever again.

“I know you’re lying.” Damien grabbed my wrist and I snatched it quickly away.

“Don’t touch me.”  I scowled at him.

Damien shook his head. “I know you were with Potter.” His hatred evident, I looked at James, who suddenly looked very uncomfortable. Fred just ran his fingers through his hair as he shared a glance with James.

“Are you stalking me now?” I was really trying to keep my temper under wraps, but it was getting increasingly harder. I couldn’t believe that Damien would betray my privacy like that, it also raised the question on how the hell did he even know anyway? I’m pretty sure Damien isn’t a seer.

“What the hell is going on?”  He yelled at me and I flinched. Since I was born, Damien has barely yelled at me, of course, we’ve argued, but Damien always managed to keep his cool. It seemed that this was not one of those times.  I felt sorry for James and Fred. Damien had no right on dragging them on this interrogation, they had no part of it, this was clearly a Nott thing.

“Nothing.” I sighed, exasperated. It was the truth in some sense. How could I explain what was happening when I had no idea myself. We tortured each other a lot and argued too much. “He came to yell at me for losing the game.” This lying thing was too easy sometimes, it just came naturally. “That’s it, alright?”

“Then why did you-”

“-You know what Damien?” I cut him off. “Stay the fuck out of my life, you have no right accusing me, you know nothing.” Damien recoiled in sheer surprised. He wasn’t expecting this. He was used to the sister who complied with his every whim and she didn’t exist anymore. “And you two can do the same too.” I snapped at James and Fred, in my eyes, they had ruined any chance of friendship we might have had by agreeing to come along to this. In my eyes, they had betrayed me, not as much as Damien but still. I never expected them to do this, I somewhat expect this from Damien, but not them. All three of them looked dumbstruck.

I pushed past them and I didn’t look back.

Not one of them followed me. It killed something inside and made me happy at the same time. I uttered the password to the wall and walked through the passage. I ignored everyone in the common room. People glared at me, obviously blaming me for slytherins loss yesterday.  I entered the dormitory to find that Emilie was nowhere to be found. Cassie was brushing PJ as Uggers sat there glaring at her. Cassie smiled happily at Uggers, she was make up free and still in her pjs. I yawned, I guess it still was rather early.

“What’s up?” She questioned. “And don’t try to tell me you’re fine.” I sat on my bed. “You look all frustrated.” She flicked her hair.

“Damien.” I answered simply.

Cassie chuckled softly to herself. “What has the twat done now?”

“Just trying to interfere in my life, when he has no right. He’s barely been there for me, now suddenly he wants to act all big brother like? He can go to hell.”  I sighed, as I picked up all my wash stuff. “James and Fred were there too, so I swore at them too.”  I almost regretted it, but in the same breath, I didn’t.

Cassie grinned at me. “I’m proud of you.” She turned and cooed at PJ. “Where were you last night? Did you spend all night cleaning the common room or something?”

“Yeah.” I answered. “I hid for a while, you know how people can get and I was embarrassed.” This day will be forever remembered as the day I lied a lot. I felt guilty about lying to her, but it was for the best. I had once tried to explain something about me and Albus before Lily’s sleepover and she had told me she wasn’t interested. I always wondered why since and I forever came up with a blank. It was just another question I would never get answered. Like the question, why am I so short when the rest of my family are normal sized? Or why is Scorpius so stupid? It hurt that she didn’t care because I listened and memorized everything she told me most of the time. I could list every boy Cassie has ever had a thing with and believe me, that list is huge.

Cassie nodded, understanding but I felt something lurked behind it. “Don’t be, you tried your best.”  She smiled at me and I grinned awkwardly at her. If only she knew the truth, I wanted to open up and tell her everything but I couldn’t. Something was stopping me and I wasn’t sure what is was.  I hoped it would diminish soon enough. I knew we would get through this, we had survived a lot worst. To make up for giving me Damien, I got Cassie as well. We were Cassie and Pippa, we just worked.

Even though she was still right in front me, Cassie suddenly felt miles away.





Chapter 21: The One Where Lily Makes A Decision
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Sorry I haven’t updated, I’ve been so busy applying to uni that it swallowed my time. How are you all? I hope you like this chapter. I had a lot of fun writing it somewhat, I liked showing a different side to Lily. Please tell me what you think of it! We’ve got some good stuff coming up!

I’m a little behind with replying to reviews, but I will reply to them all this weekend! Thanks for all your patience. Also this chapter had bad language in it. Don’t read if offended.

Please excuse any mistakes, I’m sick and this chapter has not been beta’ed. 

 

 









 

Chapter Twenty One - 
The One Where Lily Makes A Decision

 

There was just something about her.  The way her eyes gazed over you like you were the most wonderful thing in the world. I saw hope in them instead of sadness. She was charming, far too charming for her own good and this would probably lead to her downfall in the future. Okay, sure, she wasn’t eloquent at all. She was brash and upfront. Occasionally she even muddled up her words.

I liked her, despite my all efforts to feel apathetic. I could never hate her, the notion seemed impossible.

She was pure, untainted and for someone as murky as myself, I couldn’t help but be drawn to her, even though her light scorched me. It was true that she was a bit of a stalker with psycho tendencies which sometimes left me fearful of her, but who am I to judge? I like cleaning too much and self sabotage. That isn’t exactly healthy.

And even sometimes, I envied her because she was her and I wasn’t. She effortless guided through life and I stumbled with my eyes firmly shut because I didn’t want to see, I didn’t want to feel again because having feelings meant I could get hurt again. Though I couldn’t banish my feelings, they existed, despite them repulsing me. Albus had hurt me. Damien had crushed me, despite my best efforts. Two people that I didn’t even give a damn about two months ago have managed to wound me. The only person that kept my happiness above his was Scorpius, but instead, I had managed to hurt him. It was a continuous cycle. People had hurt me, so it was only fair to carry on the link and hurt another, the only problem being I hurt the people that didn’t deserve it.

I was simply pathetic.

“Oi Pippa!” Lily poked in me ribs. “You’ve been staring at me for ages and I’m starting to feel weird. Do you fancy me or something?”  She stared at me, grinning.

I scoffed. “I wasn’t looking at you; I was looking at the space behind your head actually.” I had gotten lost in my thoughts and now I looked like an utter creeper. Isn’t life just grand sometimes? “Someone’s got a bit of an ego aye?” I teased. No malice behind it, but something else…fondness perhaps? I shuddered inwardly. I didn’t know what to do, so I just sat there scowling.  

That’s right Pippa, don’t look at all friendly. Act mean! It’s what you’re best at apparently.

…Sometimes it’s hell to be my head.

“Well, have you seen this face?” Lily joked. “It’s hard not to be.” I couldn’t help but laugh. There was a scab on her chin, part of her eyebrow was missing apparently due to her cauldron exploding in her face and a purple plaster in the middle of her forehead. Lily wasn’t exactly looking her best, but still, even in this state, you couldn’t deny that she wasn’t beautiful. She just needed a good scrub or something. “Anyway, the reason I have dragged you here is I need to talk to you.” Lily had found me eating dinner and dragged me outside to sit on a bench in the freezing cold at the start of December.  

The dim sunlight had hit the frost on the trees causing them to glitter. It was a magic of it’s very own kind, no wand needed. I loved winter. It had always been my favourite season. Summer was manic; winter was calmer, more predictable. It would get colder until it hit spring. That was a given. I liked things that were givens.

“Why me though?” I questioned.

“Why not you?” Lily smiled before sighing. “My friends…” She paused for a moment. “...wouldn’t understand. My brothers have their own crap to deal with, Albus seems more off the rails lately and I don’t know why. It’s not like he’d let me help him anyway.” I had been avoiding Albus; I figured it was probably best for my health. I needed time to re group. Even from a distance, I knew he was playing the game better than I ever could and if I was to go against him again, I would lose and I was tired of losing. Plus my embarrassment still hadn’t slipped away. I still cringed whenever I thought of that night where I fell asleep next to him. I had gone over every tiny single detail of that night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it for reasons unknown. Albus no longer had his verbal punch bag, at least for now because right now, I simply didn’t feel like I could deal with it.. “And James’ time is being taken up by Damien’s problems or something. James feels bad that you’re still not speaking to him by the way.” I just shrugged at her. James and Fred had apologized countless of times to me, but I had ignored them all. I hadn’t even uttered a word to them. I figured if I ignored them for long enough, eventually they would give up. “But most of all, Albus and James try to protect me from everything…and I feel like you don’t.” 

I didn’t know what to say.

Lily took a packet of bubblegum out of her pocket, slowly unwrapped a piece before shoving it in her mouth. “Want one?” I shook my head. “I mean, my brothers interfere in my life so much, first thing Albus said when I told him I was dating Emmett was ‘dump him’. I suppose it’s just the older big brother thing right?”

“I guess.” I muttered, but I had never really felt that way about Damien for a long time. He had protected me when I was younger but it was never stifling. It was almost endearing. He left me alone to find my own way the moment he stepped on the Hogwarts express. “But I suppose it could be worse, I mean it’s better than them not caring at all.”

“Damien cares about you, Pippa.” She said it so certainly that I almost believed her for a moment. “It’s just he’s lost his way of what’s important.”  I thought back to the moment he accused me lying. Even though in that moment, when I was hazed with fury, I felt like he cared about me again.

“Sure, Sure.”  I brushed her off. “Anyway, we’re not here to talk about me, I’m freezing my ass off because of you, so start spilling or I am going to start walking.”

“I want to break up with Emmett.” She let the words hang there for a moment before continuing. “It just doesn’t feel right. He likes me, but he sees me as a trophy. I mean, a lot of people treat me weird cause of who my dad is and that’s okay because people are stupid, but I don’t expect a boyfriend to do it.”

“Why would people treat you differently? It’s not like you saved the world or anything.” My words came out a bit too bluntly but Lily graciously took them with ease.

“Exactly, I am not my father nor am I my mother. I’m not carbon copies of them, sure, I have their genes, but I am not them.” She sighed, this clearly got to her. “You see Pippa; this is why I like you.”

I looked at her oddly. I wasn’t used to people saying they liked me. It was weird, but kind of nice in the same breath.

“You’ve never treated any of us differently because our last name. You and Cassie will call Rose up on her bitchy behaviour and not let her get away with it like most people. You’re one of the only people who don’t treat Albus like he’s king. You once were proudly sick on James’ shoes and me? You focus on the fact I stalk your brother, rather than the fact I’m a Potter.” Lily grinned at me and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

 It had never occurred to me that I treated them differently to others. From a family from the wrong side, I had never idolized Harry Potter. Sure, I respected him. Who wouldn’t respect a guy that stopped an ugly maniac from taking over the world? I had pride and sucking up to people wasn’t something I ever wanted to do. Albus was a bastard and more people needed to tell him that. The sick shoe incident was one my finest moments even though my mother said she would never get over the embarrassment and Lily stalkerish tendencies outweigh anything else about her. I suppose that because I realized that Scorpius was nothing like his dad very early on, I realized that the Potter kids were different people too from their parents.

“Sucking up isn’t my style. I see it how I see it.” I told her, though I couldn’t help but think how many times I had teased Albus about his parentage. It was an easy weapon because it seemed to get to him that I couldn’t help myself. “Do people do it a lot then?”

“Yeah, I mean, they think that being our friend can get you somewhere when it really can’t. I mean, what if we all graduate and we’re all failures? I mean, the press will still follow us, but I’m annoying sometimes, is hanging around with me all the time really worth getting your face in the paper?”

“You’re not that bad.” I whispered. “But I can see your point.”  I decided to steer the conversation back to Emmett. “So why are you worried about breaking up with him?”

“I’ve had my heart broken and I never want to cause that pain for someone else. I mean, what if I’ve misread it? What happens if Emmett has deeper feelings for me than I realize and I cause him pain? I couldn’t do that.”

“He’ll get over it.” I muttered. “If not straight away, then eventually. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. You can’t stay in an unhappy relationship.” I sighed as I thought about my own relationship. I couldn’t help it. One little thing and it slips to the forefront of my mind. It was always there, but the memories had started to shift, I was seeing things I never noticed while I was love struck and that scared me.

Lily blew a bubble and it popped all over her face. She crudely stuffed in back into her mouth quickly. “One day that gaping wound will scab over.” I tried to play the confusion card but Lily saw right through it. Lily may play the fool occasionally but it was clear that she was anything but. I felt exposed. The skin itched and the familiar need to run evoked me but I made myself sit more firmly. For my own sanity, I needed to hear this and it was time I stopped running.

One day, I hoped I would not be held down by him, I would be able to untangle myself from his scolding grip. His mark will have faded. The bruises would be no more. I will stare at him and feel nothing. It will be pure nothingness, no room for sadness, longing or anger. I crave nothingness. Maybe I could even love again, someone with eyes that are nothing like his and hands that don’t let go when it gets a bit messy. Someone who doesn’t find it a task in loving me, rather he will cherish the idea. These thoughts were daunting, fresh, unlike the ones I had thought before. Someone with a conscience that’s so dirty that it matches mine, we’d be an extraordinary pair, woven from the same cloth and the understanding will be there naturally. I wanted someone that listened to everything I said and not just what they want to hear. A person who saw the proper meaning behind my words. One day, he will be just another stranger that I walk past and never think of think of them again; someone ordinary and dull. Not the masterpiece I had created in my mind.

I would stop letting him get to me. I will stop letting him control me. He was a distant memory that was getting fuzzier every time I thought about it and my mind was deceiving me. I didn’t know the truth anymore; I had warped it so much in my teenage melodrama. It was life changing; that could never be denied. At least it was life changing for me. For someone, it would have been nothing, but for me, it wasn’t. It had changed me into something grotesque and I wasn’t sure anyone would find me beautiful again. I could pick up the shards of my past self but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I hated me now, but I hated me then. I was never good enough, I always missed the mark and that’s why I relished in what I saw in his eyes. I was her, but I also wasn’t. He saw the things I showed him and not the blackness that hide underneath the sweet smile, until it was too late and blackness started seeping everywhere, consuming him and consuming me. He got out just in time, but for me, it was far too late.

Truthfully, I had been lost years ago.

I carried him wherever I went, in my little cracked heart that had been demoted to its basic function, keeping me alive in the physical sense, but not in the emotional sense but my emotions were slipping out of the bottle I kept them in. It was slow at first, drip, drip, drip and now I was locked in a tidal wave.

But I would fight against it, like I always would. 

And I would sink eventually.

“You have to do it.” I told her firmly. “You deserve someone that doesn’t give a shit about your last name because he wants to give you his.”

“I’m scared.” She muttered.

 “Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with him?”

“No.”

“That’s your answer.”

Lily thought about it. ”But what if I’m wrong? What if I think I don’t want to when in reality I actually do? Or what if he’s the one and I haven’t realized?”

“Cassie has this saying that every boy you ever meet has the potential to be the one until you realize he’s not.” I breathed in the crisp air. It stung my lungs but I kind of liked it. “So what if you’re wrong? You’re young. You’ll find each other again.”

“Do you believe in destiny?” Lily asked.

“No.” I shrugged. “I hate the thought of my whole life being mapped out for me because someone in the dirty clouds decided it’d be a nice thing for me to take this path and not the one that would have led me to a jolly good time.”  Sometimes I used to believe in destiny, I was now firmly against it and everything it stood for. I made all my choices. It wasn’t part of a big plan because I was just a little bug that didn’t matter. If I disappeared tomorrow, would I mess up some big cosmic plan? I’m saying no.

Lily sighed before smiling. “I think I still believe in it.”

“Of course you do, you’re not bitter like me.” I stuck my tongue at her. “And this ‘the one’ is total bullshit by the way.”

“Why?”

“Right, if you believe that there is only one person in this whole entire world who will complete you, you’re screwed. What if you never meet them because they live in a different country? What if they die before you even get to meet them? You’re left being a sad old lady who dies, doesn’t get discovered for weeks and when someone finally does discover you, you’re thousands of cats have eaten half your face off.”

“I’ve never known any cats that are into cannibalism.”  Lily giggled and I frowned at her. “And anyway, you meet them cause of destiny.”

“You’re so full of crap sometimes.” I rolled my eyes and Lily grinned at me. “Anyway, you and Emmett are not soul mates. He’s a leech…he is in Slytherin after all.” I joked.

“I try not to hold any house prejudices.” Lily ran her fingers through her hair, which resulted in them getting stuck. “Ah hell, keep talking why I try to untangle myself.” She started unwrapping her tangled waves from around her dirty fingers. It was painful. It seems that Lily had never been acquainted with a brush or just decided that they were a stupid idea. Either way, I bet she was regretting not brushing her hair this morning.

I couldn’t help but smirk.

“So, to sum it all up, you need to break up with him. He wasn’t a good choice after all.”

“Did you really think he’d be a good choice for me, you know when you asked me to ask him out?”  Lily asked. “Ah ha!” Lily had managed to unlock her fingers from her hair.

In all my moodiness lately, I had forgotten that I had instigated this whole situation. I felt guilty that I had asked Lily to forgo a task that had only ended up with her being miserable. But I was getting her out of it now. That’s what mattered right? Even though I was doing this because of my deal with Albus or maybe I would have done it anyway? It’s a nice thought. I kept receiving the weird notes that bugged the hell out of me. I now had a whole box full of them, each one getting viler than the next. I still had no idea who would send them to me, but once I knew, they would suffer.

“Yeah.” I cringed and I hope Lily didn’t notice. I liked the fact that she found something good amongst my flaws.  After a long life of criticism, it’s nice to get a compliment. She saw me as something I knew I wasn’t but I could keep hoping that one day I would develop into the person she perceived me to be. “I heard some good stuff, obviously they weren’t true.”

“I’m going to do it.” Lily said out loud. “I’m going to do it.” She breathed in slowly, trying to convince herself that she was strong enough to break up with a leech.

“You can do it.” I told her. “You might even find it piss easy.” I laughed bitterly, thinking of how easy he found it breaking my heart.

Lily looked at me, frowning. I could see the hurt sketched in her face. “I will never take pleasure in hurting someone’s feelings Pippa.” 

The mood changed instantly then. It became heavy and Lily just stared at me, almost as if she was seeing past everything, looking at the ugly monster that I kept inside. It was like I transparent and Lily was seeing right through me.

I faked a cough as I tried to save the situation. I would never admit it out loud but I had kind of liked this chat. It made me feel important, I was focused and it was like I was more than nothing. And I really wouldn’t mind if it ever happened again, though I would hiss and complain all the way. “I know you couldn’t.” I said softly as Lily turned away from me. Somehow my hand escaped on its own freewill and found itself on Lily’s shoulder. It then started patting her shoulder the same way you would pat a dog.  “You’re one of the good ones, Lily. Don’t ever lose that.” For the first time in a long time, I had given a compliment and I had actually meant it.

My hand dropped from her back to my side in astonishment.

No lies.

No pity.

Just the plain old truth.

Wow.  This was weird.

Lily threw herself at me like a rabid animal. She was hugging me. I hated hugs, I really do, I see no point in them. This is how you pass on germs and get sick. I couldn’t bring myself to hug her back. I just sat there, wondering when how long these things last. My arms felt heavy at my side.

Limp.

Soulless.

That’s me.

Lily pulled away from me awkwardly. “You’re supposed to hug back you know?” I looked at her blankly. “Never mind, we’ll work on it.”

Oh crap. There are more hugs in my future? I really needed to start upping my vegetable intake to help battle all the disgusting germs I was going to be exposed to. I didn’t trust some of the people I had seen Lily hug before, some of them smelled like they belonged on a farm.

Bitch, thy name is Pippa.

“Thanks for talking to me.”  Lily beamed, suddenly happy again. It had seemed she had switched back to her default setting; happy. That little moment before was gone, it was all forgiven. 

Lily is crazy.

“No problem.” I stood up. “I’m going back in now. You coming or?” I asked. I literally couldn’t feel my fingers. I actually didn’t think they ever would be the same again.

“I’ll stay here for a little while.”

“Okay.” I said, feeling a little awkward.

“I’ll tell you what happens.” She nodded to me.

I looked at her for a moment, “If you want to.”

I walked away then. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach that I couldn’t shake off. I shouldn’t have felt like that, I had been in presence of pureness. I should feel light instead I felt weighed down by a pitiful angst. I pushed it away as I strolled clumsily down the hallways of the castle. My feet felt like ice blocks and I felt like a child just learning to walk.

I must have looked like an idiot.

Oh well.

Even helping Lily didn’t make me feel good. Maybe it was because I was the reason she was in that situation. Maybe it wasn’t. I had completed my task. For once, I could say that I wasn’t a loser.

But with each heavy step I took I realized, it didn’t really matter anymore.

“Pippa.”

It was James.

I ignored it.

“Pippa.”

It was Fred.

I ignored it.

I just had to make it to the common room and I would be safe from them. I wouldn’t let them trick me again into thinking they were decent humans and I know if I let them speak, I would start to waver.

And I wasn’t ready to waver.

Also, I needed to check all of my clothing when I got into the dormitory because wherever I hide or go, James, Damien and Fred always knew where I was or how to find me. It was becoming an annoyance and I swear they must have jinxed me or something.

I wouldn’t have put it past them.

Filthy Gryffindors.

I could hear them walking behind me.

It was getting irritating.

So I turned around and told them to piss off. It wasn’t one of my most eloquent moments I admit.  I just stood there looking at them, seeing the hurt in their faces and I tried to feel something but I couldn’t. I refused to let myself. I was tired of being weak.

“We’re sorry.” James put his hands in his pockets as Fred looked frustrated. “We just went a long with Damien and didn’t see how it would look from your point of view.” He stepped closer to me and I took a step back. It was my warning.

“We didn’t mean to hurt you.” Fred said, it was the most sincere thing I had ever heard out of anyone’s mouth, but I shook my head forcefully.

“Yes, because I was never supposed to find out was I?”

James looked confused. “What?”

“This was a whole big game? Attempt to forge a friendship with me so you could learn stuff and feed it back to Damien wasn’t it?” I couldn’t help myself. I trusted them but they had hidden motives. It seemed everybody in my bloody life did. No one did anything without wanting to gain something from it.

“That wasn’t it Pippa and you know it.” Fred looked angry at the fact I had suggested it but no one likes to be discovered, their masks ripped and their real sides shown to everyone.

“Oh really?” I laughed. “James you barely talked to me before this year and neither did you Fred, yet suddenly, you became best friends forever with Damien and then suddenly you’re the first person who offered their help.”  There was a deep ache behind my rib cage.

James and Fred stared at each other for a long time; I quickly grew tired of this and turned to leave.

“Wait.” Fred yelled.

I turned around. “What?”

James breathed in slowly. “I wasn’t allowed to be friends with you. No one was.”

I looked at him confused.

“Your ex.” James shrugged.

“I don’t understand, what the hell has he got to do with this?”

“I talked to you once, your ex thought there was something more in it and threatened me, so I didn’t bother again, maybe that was wrong decision.” James stared at me and I was searching for the lie, in his face, in his words but I couldn’t find anything. “He hated anyone speaking to you. He put up with Cassie because she wouldn’t piss off, despite him trying to get rid of her.”

“I mean, he saw Scorpius as a threat and who even does that? Scorpius would lose a battle against a butterfly.” Fred told me and I absorbed his words.

It was suddenly so different. I remember him planting doubts of Cassie’s loyalty in my head. Whenever Scorpius tried to talk to me, he swooped in, I always thought of him as my saviour but I was so wrong. People would talk to me once and then reappear with a fresh bruise across the eyelid but I was so blind, I never saw it. He didn’t want to share. I wasn’t a person to him, I was a possession.

“I never saw it.” I whispered.

“Of course you didn’t.” James said softly.

I am so stupid.

While I was manipulating him, how could I not see that he too, was manipulating me? I obviously thought too much of my skills. He and Cassie would always argue a lot but I thought that was because of their clashing personalities, not because he was trying to delete her from my life and she saw straight through that. He would often send Scorpius away from me, but I didn’t like Scorpius then, how could I blame him for not liking Scorpius when I acted like Scorpius was the bane of my existence. I tried to think whether someone had ever tried to warn me or peal back my eyes a little bit but I couldn’t. People might have tried but I had always ignored any criticism about him. Anyone who criticised him was just jealous of what we had.

And I just stared at James and Fred, unsure of where to go now. I had no idea where we all stood with each other anymore.

“I need to go.”  And I left. Just like that. No more words needed to be said, I had already learned too much. I didn’t want to hear anymore.

The love I held for him crumbled just a tiny bit. The memory of him was shattered in an explosion and I had ended up being burnt. A casualty in it all.

I wondered who the fuck I was actually in love with all that time.

I loved his illusion. He loved mine.

In a sick way, I guess we were kind of perfect together.

It was over.

It wasn’t real.

None of it really was.

So why did it still hurt so much? 


Chapter 22: The One Where Everything Changes
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Authors note: Hello. I'm alive! I'm sorry I haven't updated in a very long time. I've had some health issues but I've been having more good days than bad so I've been writing this chapter, little by little on my phone, except for a scene thay has been written since I started this story (see if you can guess what scene). I've been scared to post this chapter as I'm rusty but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Excuse the mistakes, this chapter has not been beta'ed. Thank you for your reviews, I will reply to them asap!


Chapter Twenty Two -
The One Where Everything Changes


As I tossed and turned in my bed, I realized it was going to be another long night. Everytime I closed my eyes, I was confronted with my latest nightmare. So I lay there, my dark thoughts consuming my mind, the ones I tried to lock up to perserve my sanity had escaped. They were screaming at me and I was too weak to fight them. So I let their taint wash over me.

I was thinking about pain. The beautiful, wicked thing that it is.

You see, I was never numb to pain. Pain became my best friend and sometimes, it felt like my only friend.

I dragged my friend where ever I went.

Pain had seeped into me so long ago and it's still there. I stare at the veins on my wrist, imaging the pain, anger and hatred coursing through them, corroding my insides.

When life fell apart, I felt hurt so badly that I thought I was going to crumble into pieces. One false move and I’d shatter.

I should despise pain, it only caused me misery but it was my anchor. It kept me trapped in reality. I couldn’t even sink into my dreams because pain follows me, turns a daydream into a nightmare. There was no escape.

So no, I wasn’t numb from pain, instead I felt like I was I was numb from emotions. Obviously my emotions lurked inside me but I paid no attention to them; I lavished my attention on my pain. All the good emotions, I rejected. Pain helped me develop into the person I’d always been, but too afraid to show it. It broke my illusion. Even though pain was the thing that I felt like I could rely on, I didn’t want to add to it. I was cracking up already and I couldn’t handle anymore. I used to lie in my bed, thinking about life and death and neither one appealed to me. I was so jumbled up lately. Well, actually, I've been jumbled up for years.

So I let go and shut myself down after he left. I created even bigger gaps between the people I cared about because I couldn’t handle anymore hurt and these people were going to hurt me, I knew they would.

Truthfully, people frighten me and loving them is giving them control. I couldn’t give the control to them. I had to be the one holding all the powers. I had no other options than to just drift away from them, I became a hollow shell, a translucent figment of the cruel world that had broken me. But some people don’t give up. Cassie broke through first. She knew me too well. She knew how to break me. She got through when no one else could, she dragged me back to the world, a world that I no longer wanted to be apart of. She forced me to start living again, even though I wasn’t truly living, I was just passing the time, my wounded organs were struggling to keep me alive because I couldn’t be bothered to nourish it with the fuel it needed, I had a beautiful brain that made up of twisted walls to keep my secrets secure, to lock away all the things I didn’t want to remember, to keep them from escaping. I pushed them further and further to the back of a head that was much too tired to complete the task, but somehow it did. It matched my weary body, breaking down slowly as I lost against the monsters that lived inside my head. I would never speak his name again; I would never even think it. It was in my best interests to forget all about his existence. To utter his name would destroy me.

But lately, I was starting to feel restless. I could feel things slowly shifting and I didn’t know how to deal with it. It made me want to scream until my bones shattered. If I was a normal person, I wouldn’t even be thinking any of this because I wouldn’t have noticed but couldn’t handle it. Scorpius had become a permanent fixture it my life and I had let him become that. I didn’t even notice until it was too late. I could see this all ending up badly because I was starting to…like having him around.

It was awful.

I will destroy him. I will hurt him all over again. I had treated him so badly in the past that I was surprised he could even look at me, let alone love me so fiercely. I ignored him; I shouted at him, I never allowed myself to be in the same room as him. I used to feel embarrassed that the stupid Scorpius was my family. He would speak to me and I would ignore him. He asked why I was acting like this and I didn’t answer. He didn’t exist to me. I remember seeing his expression in the corner of my eye, his goofy smile was present, but it was his eyes I remembered the most. He was smiling but his eyes had formed tears. I saw torment in those eyes that were so familiar. He was the boy I had grew up with, the boy who put everyone’s happiness before his own. I resolved to give him another chance; I was going to be nicer next time. I even decided that I would speak to him, something I had refused to do all year. I didn’t want to remember all the pain I caused him, but somehow, I couldn’t forget. It ate me up inside.

But I never did give him that chance in fifth year. It started when I spoke to him of my plans. He screamed at me; asking why he wasn’t enough. I trembled as I told him that he was perfect and he was all I ever wanted but I couldn’t soothe him. He told me that my thoughts should only focus on him and no other guy, family or not. He didn’t want to share. I was his. I belonged to him.

In the end, I had to promise I wouldn’t change.

I promised that I would continue to being a cruel bitch to the one person who didn’t deserve it.

Fred and James wanted to be my friend. Another change I couldn’t handle. Lily kept on seeking me out. She would smile and hug me whenever she saw me. I wanted to hate it, I really did.

I climbed out of bed and shuddered. I couldn’t be in that bed anymore. It was suffocating.

I wanted to crawl into a ball but I couldn’t. I pushed myself to keep walking. I found the dormitory easily. I pushed the door open and snuck into the room. I looked around, everyone was asleep, I couldn’t help but glance at Albus’ empty bed as I walked quietly over to a sleeping Scorpius. I was both happy and agitated. It bothered me not knowing where he was but I was happy that this night wasn’t going to end with me fighting with Albus.

I stared at Scorpius. He was all sprawled out, tangled in his blanket. I thought about turning back. He was okay. I knew that now but I didn’t want to leave.

“Scorpius,” I whispered as I nudged him softly.

He opened his sleepy eyes. “Pippa?” He looked confused. “What are you doing here?” He sat up as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

I didn’t know why I was here.

I just know I needed comfort. I needed to feel safe.

But I couldn’t tell him that.

“I had a bad dream.”

“What happened?” He asked softly as he gestured for me to sit down on his bed.

I sat down on his bed. He warm hand reached for mine, holding it tightly. I never wanted him to let go and that surprised me. “I had a dream that you hated me.” I whispered, my voice cracking slightly. “Then you died in my arms and the last words you said to me was that I never mattered to you, it was all a game. That I was a horrible bitch and I was going to get what I deserved.” Scorpius squeezed my hand. “You cursed me with your dying breath. You were gone, you had left me.” I didn’t know why I was confessing so much but I knew that Scorpius wouldn’t use this information against me. The words I spoke would never leave this room. I realized that I truly did trust Scorpius, I couldn’t help it but he was the one person I could rely on, or at least I thought so until that dream. “It felt so real.”

It was horrible. Scorpius had decided he had enough of me. I was begging him not to leave me, I didn’t know how I could live without him. I told him I’d be better, that I would change, but Scorpius said it didn’t matter. It was done. I no longer mattered to him. Then there was an explosion, I closed my eyes and when I opened them, Scorpius was bleeding on the floor. I ran over to him, I cradled him in my arms, I never wanted to let go. I was screaming at him to stay with me. He opened his eyes and started to spew hatred. I knew I had done this to him; I had made him bitter because I had put him through so much and he had finally reached his limit. He told me he had never loved me. His words rang true to my ears and I couldn’t blame him. I knew no one could love the creature that I was. I was a handful, I knew that much. I had killed Scorpius’ innocence and that tore me apart.

“You dying in my arms, it reminded me of-“ I couldn’t finish the sentence. The words were escaping my lips, it’s uncontrollable. I didn’t know what I was saying or why I was saying it. I was only dragging up the painful past. I had tried so hard to forget that but tonight; the memory had been awoken and was stirring.

“It’s okay.” Scorpius soothed as he embraced me, wrapping his arms around me and squeezed me tight. I couldn’t help but feel safe in his arms. “I’ll never leave you.” But I couldn’t believe it. The words spoken in that dream haunted me. “Leaving you would make me a sad panda.” He spoke softly as if I was a frightened child. I suppose in a way, I was. I couldn’t stop thinking about him leaving me because he finally realized that I wasn’t the person he thought I was.

For some reason the thought of him leaving me terrified me.

Scorpius was constant, he was my shadow. I could call on him and he would come running. If he left me; it would end that. I’d be lost in the unknown and I hated that. I needed to control it. I was spinning out of control, my emotions flooding me, seeping into my veins and brain, slowly taking over me. The wrong words were tumbling out of my mouth, words that were fresh and knew. Words I thought that I would never utter again. I needed everything to slow down; I needed to regain my composure and balance. Regrets were littered on my skin. My brain consumed by ghosts, locking me with the figments of the past. I always felt like I could never escape them, but when I was with Scorpius, the voices became a little quieter and my chains became a little lighter. He helped me without even knowing it. He was my ball of sunshine.

The truth is, Scorpius made me human. He was my light at the end of a dark tunnel.

I carried my pain around with me, breaking me down slowly but Scorpius managed to put the breakdown on pause

I was so scared of opening myself up to another human again. Even having attention on me petrified me; I didn’t want anyone looking too close and discover the broken creature that lived inside me. Without my permission, Scorpius had broken into my dead heart and stole a piece, forcing me to care about him. He brought my heart back to life. I couldn’t fight against what I was feeling and I couldn’t ignore the emotions, it was impossible.

“I love you, Pippa.” Scorpius whispered in my ear and I froze. “And I always will.” I still worried though, the fear of rejection and the painful thought of him leaving me. I couldn’t shake it off because I knew it was going to happen eventually because I didn’t deserve him in my life. I wasn’t the person he thought I was. The tears flooded out my eyes and I started to quietly sob on his shoulder. I always felt like I was alone, it was me against the world but the truth was, I was never alone. I pushed him away, I trampled all over him and he still cared for me. I didn’t understand, he should hate me because I know I hate myself because of the things I have done to him. I was a terrible person. There was nothing good about me. I didn’t deserve his love. Love was a disgusting emotion. It was love that killed me. I thought I could never care so deeply about someone again.

I trusted Scorpius, I couldn’t help it. He was the only person I knew who wouldn’t hurt me.

I couldn’t imagine a world without Scorpius.

I needed him.

I cared about him.

And I couldn’t stand that. I never wanted to care about another person, I never wanted to let anyone in. Scorpius had made it into my heart and I didn’t realize until it was too late, I couldn’t reverse it.

“Scorpius...” I whispered. “I…” The words wouldn’t come out. I couldn’t say what I felt and that was the problem. I wanted to say it because Scorpius deserved to know. I wiped the tears from my eyes, as I looked up at him. Those familiar grey eyes stared me. One day I would tell him, but today is not that day. Scorpius had seen the little bits of me that wasn’t pretty, yet instead of running away like I expected, he stayed and tried to get closer to me.

Scorpius smiled at me. “It’s okay.” He whispered, “I already know, you don’t need to say anything.” Of course he would know. Scorpius was a simple person, the little things made him happy and the boy didn’t have common sense, but he always could tell what you were feeling, as if you were an open book. I suppose when you have a complicated best friend and cousin, you get to see the dark emotions up close. You experience everything through them. Then you realize slowly the answer to the problem. You know how to deal when someone is off the rails. I screamed at him that I hated him the once, but he knew deep down, I didn’t. I needed him to help me but I was pushing him away so Scorpius forced himself into my life. Until this year, I had never spent a lot of time with him and I regretted that. He made me realize that I didn’t like to be alone, when I was alone, I drove myself crazy.

I forced the tears to stop, regaining my control. “I have to go.” I stood up and shuddered. The room suddenly felt a lot colder.

Scorpius nodded. “Get some sleep; you’ll feel a lot better in the morning.”

“I’m fine.” I snapped, suddenly embarrassed about everything. I shouldn’t have come here. Scorpius should have never seen me in my weakened state. I worried that it would change something and I couldn’t bear that. “I’m always fine.” I lied. This night had brought us closer and I needed to change that. I needed distance. “Don’t you dare tell anyone about tonight.” If people knew, it could change their impression of me. My nightmares were my problem, I had never told anyone about them, not even Cassie. I suffered alone.

“I won’t.” Scorpius didn’t even look at me. “Your secret is safe with me.” I glanced at him; he was staring at his hands. He looked upset and I knew it was my fault. I had allowed him to get close, and then I threw him to the side because I panicked. The rebuilt the walls that had crumbled.

“Good.” I said coldly but I instantly regretted it. I couldn’t look at him anymore; the guilt was hit me in my gut and made me feel sick. I needed to get out the room; I stumbled as I walked away from Scorpius without saying good bye and slammed the door of the dormitory as I left. I didn't care if I awoke the other boys in the dormitory.

I walked quickly to my dormitory and entered it quietly. Emilie and Cassie were still asleep, but I knew they wouldn’t be asleep for long because it was starting to get light outside and both of them were early risers. I tumbled onto my bed and sighed. I closed my eyes, even though I knew I would never get back to sleep so I just lay there, wishing I could disappear into nothingness.

Eventually, I heard someone shuffling and climbing out of bed.

Then someone poked me in the arm.

“Cassie,” I hissed, “Don’t poke me.”

“Not Cassie, it’s me, Emilie.” Emilie whispered.

I opened my eyes immediately and sat up straight. I rebuilded my ruined walls quickly as I let my eyes wonder over to her. Her PJ’s had turtles on them, she wore no make up, which made her look a lot younger and almost innocent. It’s a shame she’s such a bitch. I brushed my fingers on the place she poked and wiped it with my hand, as if there were dirt there.

“What do you want?” I asked coldly, as I glared at my former best friend. A small part of me missed her occasionally, but I knew that we would never be friends again, too much had happened.

Emilie sighed as she sat on the edge of my bed. It made me fill with rage. Emilie was being so casual and I hated it. I preferred it when we were arguing; at least I knew where I stood when she was screaming at me that she hated me.

“I needed to talk to you.” She said softly. “I have something to tell you.” She looked at me and I took in a deep breath as I felt the panic rising.

“Is it Damien? Has something happened to him?” I asked, the worry surprised me, I had tried convinced myself that I didn’t care what happened to Damien but it was all for nothing; I still cared and always would. He was my brother. I shouldn’t give a crap about him. I was still mad at him and I refused to talk to him. It was easy to do as Damien didn’t even try to start a conversation with me, he simply ignored me. I didn’t exist to him, I was invisible. It was a battle of who was the most stubborn.

Eventually one of us would break down, but I was determined for it not to be me.

Emilie shook her head. “No! Damien is fine!”

“Thank god.” I whispered, as I tried to calm myself down. I was disgusted and disappointed myself for caring so much. “So what is it?”

“Me and Damien are now official. No more sneaking around. I wanted you to hear it from me before someone else. I tried to convince Damien to tell you, but he wouldn’t.” Emilie sighed. “I hope you two sort out everything soon, you’re brother and sister. You shouldn’t be like this. It’s making him miserable. He tries to hide it but the gaping wound is there if you look closely. ”

I felt the anger rise within me, it also came with a dash of confusion. “Damien being miserable about us not talking?” I laughed bitterly. “He doesn’t give a shit about me. He never has. If he gave a shit, he wouldn’t be dating you.”

Emilie flinched. “You can’t help who you fall for Pippa.”

I shook my head. I know that sometimes people fall for someone they shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do something about it.

Gosh, maybe it is me who is the utter bitch around here.

Damien and Emilie were official. It was real. It wasn’t going away like I thought it would. I didn’t understand what they saw in each other. I didn’t understand that out of all the girls that Damien could have chosen, he picked Emilie. My ex best friend. The person that causes me pain whenever I see her, because I remember how wonderful she used to be and now knowing that the person she used to be didn’t exist anymore. We were both different people then. I had changed and so had she.

“What changed your mind?” I asked, trying to understand. Damien told me she didn’t give a crap about him. Something had obviously changed unless it was one big game for her. I wasn’t sure. She acted like it was real, but I couldn’t help hope it was fake. I knew Damien would be upset, but he would get over it and Emilie wouldn’t be in our lives anymore. I could go back to ignoring her and pretending she was nothing to me.

“I fell for him.” She said simply. “I didn’t at the start; he was a distraction that I needed to take my mind off everything because everything had turned to shit.” I knew Emilie’s parents were hard to take sometimes. Her mother and father were fiery, who loved each other deeply but constantly argued. Divorce was constantly mentioned. When we were friends, Emilie practically lived with us in the holidays, barely going home. Her parents were so occupied with each other that they barely noticed she was gone. “The more I spent in his company, the more I found myself falling for him, before I knew it, I loved him and I thought my life was over.” Emilie fiddled with her sleeve. “You know how afraid I was of love.” That was true; Emilie constantly stated that she was never going to fall in love. She couldn’t bear the thought opening herself up. So she refused to care about anyone but herself. Wait, that isn't true, once upon a time she cared about me and Cassie.

“I felt that making the relationship official was like giving up everything. It was like I’d lost the war I had going on with myself. I said I’d never fall in love, but I have and it scares me.”

I could understand that; I too had pledged never to fall in love again, once was enough for me.

“So we started being a secret couple, but it was tiring. I wanted to hold his hand, but I couldn’t because it was a secret. I had enough, so I just gave in. I accepted that I was in love with him.” Emilie sighed. “I can’t help feeling that this will bite me in the ass someday, but today, I’m happy.”

“You really do love him, don’t you?” I could tell easily that this wasn’t a game to her, it was the way she said his name. It was full of adoration. “It’s not just a game isn’t it?”

“No.” She answered truthfully. “I feel like I belong with him.”

There was a sharp pain in my gut. I couldn’t help but miss what I used to have. When things were good, they were perfect at least through my delusional eyes, I remembered how happy I was, but eventually it got destroyed.

I would now be alone forever. No one could love me. I was too messed up. I got lucky for once finding him, I would never get lucky again. I felt lonely and I wished I had someone to hold me. Someone to stroke my hair, while whispering it was all going to be okay.

I wanted to run and find him. I wanted to beg for him to take me back. I would tell him I’d be anything he wanted me to me. I would change everything about myself if it meant getting a second chance with him . I wondered what he would say if I told him he was my everything and I thought about him every single day. Did he still love me? Does he cherish the good times like I do? I also think about the bad times a lot too, everything that had happened lately caused me examine every one of them. I now know he was bad for me, as I was bad for him. He was possessive and controlling. I was moody and bitchy. Things weren’t as perfect as I thought they were, love had changed my memories as I was looking at them with rose tinted glasses. It was all a lie. I didn’t even know who he was really. There was a difference between the person I thought he was and the person he actually is.

But still, I’d do anything for one more kiss.

“Pippa,” Emilie whispered, “Are you alright? You’ve gone all quiet.”

I let go of my thoughts and returned to reality. “I was just thinking, that’s all.” I shrugged. I looked at her for several moments, “You hurt my brother, I will hurt you ten times worse.” I didn’t even know why I was threatening her; I was still worried that this would go horribly wrong. I couldn’t help it. I was still hurt, but I knew if Damien called on me to help him, I would go, because at the end of the day, we shared the same blood. Ever since I was little, it was drilled into me that family is the most important thing in the world. You can trust no one but your family and when your family was in trouble, you stood with them, ready to destroy the enemy.

Emilie just laughed at me. “I think you should sort out everything with Damien, it’s obvious you care about him. He is your family, this fighting isn't right.”

I shrugged. “No. I’m done with him.” I said, trying to convince myself that this was true.

Emilie shook her head, as she stood up. “Thank you for listening to me. I know we have a complicated past, but I hope we can be at least civil to each other.” She held out her hand, “How about a truce?”

I stared at her hand, wondering what the hell I should do. I knew Cassie would kill me if I took her hand but a little bit of me wanted to end our bickering, Emilie seemed to have grown up a lot lately and I was tired of it all. Emilie was different, more mature and less petty. She still argued with Cassie, but Cassie started all the arguments. I couldn’t move past everything that had happened, it was too much, we couldn’t go back, but while we were stuck arguing all the time, we weren’t moving forward either. I could never forgive her, I knew that but I could be civil with her.

At least I thought so.

But I knew that saying yes was the right answer. So I had to say no.

“No.” I whispered. “I can’t.”

I was making the wrong decision.

Emilie sighed. “I tried.” She shrugged before walking away. She picked up her things and went to the bathroom.

“Oh my god.” Cassie yelled as she crawled out of bed and ran over to mine. “What the fuck just happened?” She jumped on my bed. Her hair was wild and she was full of energy.

“You were listening?”

“Of course, I was just pretending to be sleeping.” Cassie laughed. “So now they’re going to be an official couple? What a load of bullshit. And trying to make a truce? After everything that’s happened? And she loves him? Eugh.” Cassie rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe the cheek of her, I really can’t.” Cassie hated Emilie more than anything. In Cassie’s eyes, she was the enemy that needed to be destroyed. All her love had turned into hate. She refused to forgive.

I couldn’t help but feel that something more was going on. It was like I was missing a huge piece of the puzzle. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but everything didn’t feel right.

“I think she does love him, you know.”

Cassie’s face scrunched up in anger. “That girl doesn’t know what love is.” She snapped, giving me a dirty look.

I stared at her for a long time. I needed to figure out what was wrong but Cassie was a bomb of hatred that was about to explode so I had to tread carefully to avoid collateral damage.

“You’ve really increased your hate campaign since we found out she was dating Damien.” Cassie looked guilty so I knew I was on the right trail. “Is there something I’m missing?”

“No.” She said quickly, looking down, refusing to meet my eyes.

“I think you’re lying.” I said quietly.

“You’re right.” She sighed. “But I don’t want to tell you.” She chewed on her bottom lip.

“Why?” I asked, feeling hurt.

She used to tell me everything, now she had a secret that she was refusing to tell me. There was some distance between us. I hated it.

She closed her eyes for a few seconds, before opening them again. “Because I broke the rule.” Cassie looked up at me. “I’m so sorry.” Her words seemed genuine but I didn't care.

“You what?” I yelled. I felt the sour taste of vomit rising in my throat.

“How could you?” I jumped off the bed, wanting to get as far from her as possible. I couldn’t believe she had broken it.

There was one rule of our friendship. The rule was that my brother was out of bounds, Cassie could date everyone else, but she wasn’t allowed to touch my brother. I had created this rule when I noticed that Cassie had a pattern in her love life. She would chase guys, then she’d get them and she’d quickly discard them when she found a fault with them. I created this rule because I wanted to protect my brother from Cassie. I knew that Cassie could easily make my brother fall for her. She was charming and beautiful; Damien had a weakness for pretty girls. Cassie agreed to it without hesitation, telling me my brother wasn’t her type anyway.

“I didn’t mean too, it just sort of happened.” She climbed off the bed and stepped towards me. I stepped back. “Please Pippa, don’t be like this.” She begged.

“What happened?” I stared at her in utter disgust. I wanted to punish her so badly. She had hurt me. This day was shaping up to be one of my worst days ever. I had a nightmare, upset Scorpius, Damien and Emilie were actually in a relationship, I refused the truce when I should have took it and now my best friend had broken our only rule.

“It was before summer, you were wrapped up in your relationship, I was lonely and he was there. I kissed him. I kissed him a lot.” Cassie looked like she was in pain. I knew she was upset that she had hurt me. It made me feel good that she was hurting like she deserved to be. “He told me I was special, but I was just another girl in his mind.” Tears welled up in Cassie’s eyes. For a girl that never cried, this was shocking. “It was quickly over. He started to ignore me. That was it. It hurt me that Emilie was good enough for him, but I wasn’t.” Tears were streaming down her face as she yelled at me. “So I wanted to fucking hurt her and I wanted to kill him. He used me.” She screamed in my face.

“You use boys all the time.” I spat nastily. “You discard everyone, why is it only wrong when it happens to you? It’s fine when you’re the person who is chucking everyone away because you’ve found a fault or you were just bored and you didn't like them anyway ” My hands balled into fists. "You're no better."

Cassie rubbed her eyes, trying to wipe the tears that were streaming down her face away. “Don’t say that.” She sobbed. “I’m so sorry. If I could take it back, I would.”

I couldn't take it anymore. I found myself crumbling and the tears started to run down my face.

“I didn’t want to hurt you. It’s why I didn’t tell you, I wanted too, so badly, but I couldn’t.” The tears flowed more heavily down my face. I wanted to drown myself in them. “Please don’t leave me,” She grabbed my wrist, I tried to tug it back but she held a firm grip. “We can work past this, can’t we? Please tell me we can?” She was pleading with me. All I wanted to do was hug her and I wasn't even a hugging type of person.

“I don’t know.” I mumbled.

“Come on,” She urged. “We’re stronger than this, aren’t we? It’s you and me against the world. That’s the way it’s always been.” She grabbed my hands, entwining her fingers between mine. “You’re my best friend. No, you're more than that, you're my soulmate”

“I know.” I mumbled and she squeezed my hand.

I didn’t know what to do. We were standing in the dormitory with tears running down our faces.

“I need to think.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been distant lately, it’s just whenever I was around you, I felt guilty so I pulled myself away, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Her nose was bright red and she was getting snotty. It really wasn’t an attractive look but I probably look the same. We were both in a mess.

“Okay.” I sniffed.

“Tell me we will be okay?” She pleaded.

I stared at her. I couldn’t lose her. She was my best friend who had stuck with me through thick and thin. When I was broken, she was the only person who got through to me. Our friendship wasn’t going to end like this. I wouldn’t allow it. Cassie had hurt me but I would try to get through this.

“I don't know, I'm not sure of you or anything anymore.” I rubbed my eyes, as I swallowed the sob rising in my throat. “I need to go and think.”

Cassie let go of my hands. “Okay.” She turned around and walked over to her bed, before falling face first into her bed and pulled the drapes around her.

I turned around and grabbed my clothes, before getting changed. I quickly walked out of the dormitory and headed to the pitch. I needed to run.

I was going to run until I was exhausted.

Eventually, I collapsed onto the ground; feeling tired and all my bones ached. I still didn’t feel any better. This day was still a pile of shit. I dragged myself up and I walked back towards the castle.

I felt so messed up. My thoughts were spinning. I couldn’t get the picture of Cassie crying out of my head and I couldn’t stop picturing a dying Scorpius.

I knew when I saw my brother; I would be having angry words with him. I was fuming that he had treated her like she was nothing, even though it should never have happened in the first place.

I was itching to clean because I felt that everything was in chaos. I needed to regain my grip on my life.

I spent all day cleaning my stuff in my corner. I polished everything until it was shining, I remade my bed ten times and I folded my clothes even though they were perfectly fine before. I had cleaned for hours, yet I still didn’t feel any better. I hadn’t seen Cassie all day and I was grateful for that, because I didn’t know what to say to her and I didn’t know how to move forward. I tried to do my homework, but I couldn’t focus on anything. I kept replaying everything in my mind. I didn’t know how I didn’t guess that something had happened with Cassie and Damien; it was obvious now I thought about her actions. She didn’t punch him after the quidditch match because she was angry that Slytherin lost, she was angry at him for dropping her and choosing her enemy.
I was such an idiot.

Emilie and Damien’s relationship was the hottest gossip, I had heard them whispering when I had returned from my run. A Gryffindor and Slytherin being together wasn’t that common considering the houses history. I was also gossiped about because of my past with Emilie. There were several rumors about how I had acted when I found out the news, one of them was I punched Damien, another was I had a mental breakdown and another one was that I was perfectly fine with it, I was happy for the couple.

What a load of crap. I hated the fact that my name was on strangers lips.

I sat on my floor, thinking, for hours and hours, because I didn’t want to sit on my bed because I’d mess it up. Eventually, Emilie returned to the dormitory, she was smiling. She didn’t say a thing to me, as she grabbed her clothes so she could get changed. She yawned. It was sometime later that Cassie entered the room. She shot me a weak smile.

“The common room is empty if you want to clean it.” She said, before throwing herself on her bed and sighing. Cassie understood me far too well sometimes.

I grabbed my cleaning supplies before walking out of the room. I was excited. I hadn’t cleaned the common room in a while. I could hear the water swishing outside, it relaxed me a little. My shoulders ached because I had been tense all day.

I opened my box of cleaning supplies. I had a bunch of cleaning things but for this, I only needed four of them for the common room. Along with my bowl of course, but my bowl doesn’t count. I took out my furniture polish first with the cloth that I only use for polishing. I placed them next to each other in a line. Next came out the scrubbing brush that I placed next to the polish. Finally, I pulled out my favourite buffing cloth; the emerald coloured one.

I scrubbed the table first. I scrubbed until my fingers ached. I walked over to the stone walls of the common room; I started to dust them a little.

I heard someone enter the common room and I froze, I looked around to find myself staring at Albus.

Obviously, this day was going to get even worse. It had been a while since I had seen him because had been avoiding him. I felt awful enough without having someone attacking me. It seems I couldn’t catch a break today. I’d rather be stuck with my loneliness than him.

“Hello my little kangaroo, ” He smirked. He looked rough. The circles underneath his eyes had become worse and he was as pale as a ghost. His messy hair was even crazier than it usually was. He seemed to be in a rough place. “I see you managed to split Lily and Emmett up.” He had a flask in his hand and took a long swig of it. I could smell it from here. He was drinking fire whiskey.

He swayed a little and that's when I realized that Albus was drunk.

Fuck.

I tried to stay calm and act natural. So I shrugged. “I suppose I did.” I scrubbed the stone wall. It was pointless cleaning the stones, but I did it anyway. “Now you need to tell me who was sending me those notes?” I had a whole box of those horrible notes.

Albus laughed. “It was me.”

I looked at him, dumbstruck. Even if I had a million guesses, I would have never guessed Albus. He was worse than I thought.

“You are a bastard.” I hissed, dropping my duster on the floor. “Why the hell did you decide to mess with me like that?”

Albus laughed. “I knew about Lily and Emmett before you told me, I just pretended to act shocked. I knew you were using her to take Emmett away from the quidditch team, so you could get his slot. So I started sending notes, I knew they would annoy you and I knew if I told you I knew who was sending them, you would do anything I wanted.” My fingers curled up into a ball. “I wanted Lily to break up with Emmett, but I knew she would never do it if I told her too. She’s always admired you, so I knew you would be able to do it.” I never expected it to be him and Lily admired me? I was just a stupid little girl; I needed to get out of this game before it destroyed me.

“You manipulated me.” All this time, I thought I was the clever one, but I was just a pawn in Albus’ games. This day was destroying me, my mind was buzzing and my thoughts were torturing me.

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

“Because Lily has already had her heart broken once and I didn’t want it to happen again.” He shrugged.

I figured something out then. All this time I was blind when the information was right in front of my face. “It was Nathan Morgan wasn’t it? That’s why you hate him so much, don’t you? He broke your little sisters’ heart.” I felt bad for Lily. She didn’t deserve to be played with.

He stared at me with an empty grin. “You finally figured it all out! You’re a slow one. He messed up my sister, she was a wreck and now, I need to destroy him.” Albus stepped closer to me. It was too close for me, I felt nervous. I wanted to run out of the room.

Nathan was currently involved with Cassie, they weren’t in a relationship but they hooked up whenever they could or when Cassie could be bothered. She had already moaned at me that the boy was pretty to look at but he bored her.

“I understand that.” I admitted. I would do the same if I was in his situation but I was still fuming. The game was changing once again but I realized I could never win against Albus. It was impossible. “I can’t believe you, you really are a monster.”

Albus nodded. “Monsters recognize each other.” He gave me a smile which infuriated me.

“I’ve told you, I’m nothing like you.” I glared at him and he just laughed at me. Anger consumed me, turning me into a raging beast. “I hate you.” I yelled. “I can’t believe you’d just use me like you this, you’re a twat, you know that right?” Albus shrugged. He was bulletproof. I couldn’t hurt him. Nothing I said would cause the damage that I desperately needed to achieve. I knew hurting him would make me feel better. If I hurt Albus, I would forget all about my pain.

“We are exactly the same and that is the problem.” He ran his fingers across my face. He was messing with me again.

“Get the fuck away from me.”

“No.”

Albus pushed me against the wall and pinned my arms above my head lightly. I could escape if I wanted to but I was too captivated to do so as we stared at each other. There was a look on his face that wouldn’t been seen out of place on a warrior that was about to destroy his most hated enemy. He thought of me as a vile human being. I almost felt ashamed of myself but I didn’t show it. I stared back at him with my hollow eyes. His lips curled into a mysterious smile. I didn’t like that smile because it scared me. My throat tightened and I wanted to insult him. I needed to break this moment but I couldn’t. I was trapped like a fly in a spider’s web. I almost laughed. I mean a fly? I always gave myself the best roles.

“You disgust me.” He whispered.

Then it happened, Albus sought out my mouth and his lips found mine. It took me completely off guard even though deep down, the truth was that this was bound to happen some day because Albus and I had passion. A passion to destroy each other but it was a passion never less. My skin prickled as I inhaled his scent. His scent was a mixture of alcohol mixed with smoke. I should be disgusted but I'm not.

On paper, we would be chaos at its best but somehow this was perfect in its own twisted way.

He made me forget everything that was wrong in my life. I couldn’t even think properly.

The kiss was pure poison as Albus completely evaded my mouth. He bit my lip roughly and I whimpered against his mouth but he never stopped the connection between us. If we stopped, this would be over and I wasn’t sure that either of us wanted that. The kiss sparked a fire inside me; it filled me with warmth that spread from my toes to my racing heart. He let go off my arms and I felt like I would have collapsed if his arm hadn’t found itself around my waist. I grabbed fistfuls of his shirt to try and control the desire that had been awakened. This wasn’t a sweet kiss. It was fight for power. It was rough, urgent and it was nothing like I had experienced before.

His other hand was trailing around my body. For a boy who was rough kisser, his touch was surprisingly soft. It was almost delicate. He had gone to war on my mouth but my body was another thing. He let my lips go but he never left my skin. He was trailing kisses across my jaw and down to my neck. This should have felt wrong, but it doesn’t. Right now, this moment was everything. I should push him off, scream at him, punch him in the nose and tell him to stay the hell away from me but I didn’t want him too and he didn’t seem to want to stop either. This was pure madness. This didn’t make sense…and for once in my life, I couldn’t care less. He had made me lose control and I hated him for that, yet I didn’t want to stop. I felt selfish because I wanted him to myself for as long as I could, my hands tracing his upper body, never wanting to let go. He was kissing my lips again. His lips seemed to mesh so perfectly with my own. He saw me for who I was. There was no pretending and I couldn’t hide a thing even if I tried. He just understood so perfectly that it terrified me. Everything about him was so fucking addictive.

He was right, monsters sought each other out.

He stopped kissing me and I felt a swoop of disappointment. The war was on pause. This was neutral ground. I found I didn’t really like it. His eyes found mine and for a single second everything was silent. Nobody breathed. His eyes were ablaze as he stared at me intently like I was the only person in the world. I let go of his shirt, which was wrinkled and would need ironing. He didn’t say anything and neither did I. I opened my mouth but there was nothing to say. Words weren’t needed in this moment. Before I knew it, my fingers were trailing through his hair. He hadn’t let go of my waist but his free hand was cupping my face, forcing me to stare into those eyes. Those eyes would haunt me forever in my nightmares. The kiss had placed me in a complete and submissive silence. His lips were swollen; I had done that and what’s worst, I had enjoyed doing that. I don’t understand anything anymore. I thought I did but this kiss had ripped everything apart. It was a whole new game with new rules that I didn’t know. I didn’t know who was winning, but if this was what losing felt like then I didn’t mind.

He swore loudly as he dammed me to hell for eternity as he stopped cupping my face and looked away. I found myself smirking as I placed my lips against his in a feverish kiss. His mouth was hot and hungry. If I was going to hell for this, I was going to make it worth it. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I craved something that only he could give and I had never realized this before. My arms wrapped around his neck without my permission and pulled him closer. I could feel his heart beating against his chest. The electrical current that whizzed through my body seemed to be something we were both suffering from at the moment. Albus kissed me back so harshly, I figured my lips would never recover but it seemed worth it. All the frustrations we had ever felt about each other was being released in these kisses. Then for some reason we parted and reality kicked my arse.

“Shit.” I whispered softly I came out of the lusty daze and into the harsh light of reality. What the hell was I doing? He let go of me instantly and stepped away, he too returning to normal. He had a hard look upon his face that gave nothing away and his jaw was rigid. That was typical. Did he hate me more now or less? I couldn’t tell. I didn’t understand this boy. This wasn’t right, we were Albus Potter and Pippa Nott, we even didn’t like each other so why the hell were we kissing?

This could never happen again.

These types of feelings weren’t even aroused when I was in love with him. I never lost control with him and Albus had made me lose control in about thirty seconds. As a control freak, this is no easy feat and worse, I found I didn’t care that I had no control. It had been such a shit day, I didn’t even know what I was doing anymore. We stared at each other, breathing loudly as I tried to figure out my next move. I knew if I stayed that there was a good chance of that happening again, so I did the only thing I could think of.

I ran towards the girls dormitory and he let me, which was stupid because the person I was really running away from was me and no matter how long I ran for, I would never escape my thoughts and I would never accept that I had kissed Albus and enjoyed it. For one moment, when his lips touched mine, I had felt the wounds inside me scab over, but as soon as they were gone, I was ripped apart. He connected to something inside of me. And now that he was gone, I couldn’t help but feel more hollow than I'd ever been before.

To put it simply, I am screwed.


Chapter 23: The One Where Things Are Mended And Broken
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I’m sorry this has taken so long to write, health has been up and down and this chapter is a lot longer than the others, hope you don’t mind the length but it didn’t seem right to split it. I hope you enjoy the chapter, I'm pretty nervous about posting it, I’m trying to catch up on reviews and I appreciate everyone I get. Please excuse the mistakes, this chapter has not been beta’ed.






Chapter Twenty Three-
The One Where Things Are Mended And Broken


"This is so exciting." I stared out of the window as he wrapped his arms around my waist laughing. I was looking at the stars, wishing upon a star that was already dead that everything would turn out okay. I sighed before plastering a smile upon my face. "I can’t believe we are actually here!"

I was in muggle hotel in the middle of London. If my parents knew where I actually was, I'd be in deep trouble, I had only turned 15 in August and it was now December. Luckily for me, my parents trusted me and lapped up my lies. I had told them that I was going to London with Cassie to do some shopping and then I was stopping at hers. I saw the look in my dad's eye when I asked if I could go, he wanted to say no but he said yes. Then he sighed and told me I was growing up too fast. If only he knew what I had done in the past few months.

Lies upon lies.

I am not their little girl anymore, I am someone else.

I had fallen in love with the most beautiful boy ever. He was changing me, for the good and the bad.

He trailed kisses along my neck. "I've missed you." Those words cut so deep that they penetrated the bones, I felt the love seeping in, bringing me to life. His voice would always be my favourite sound. It was absolutely mesmerising. Every time he speaks, I fall under his spell.

I turned around and I pressed myself against him "I missed you too." Sometimes I missed him when he was standing right next to me because occasionally, he felt like a ghost. Sometimes he went somewhere where I couldn’t follow. Missing him was an ache that didn't fade.

I always had nightmares of losing him, I couldn’t help but wonder whether he worried that one day I would be lost to him. I didn't dare ask him, I was not looking for a fight tonight. Tonight I wanted to feel loved. I would ignore the paralysing fear of what it would be like not having him in my life. I will lose him, soon as he sees past the front I put up. I try to be perfect, to be the girl he needs. I let him mould me into the girl he wants and erase my human faults. One day though, the monster inside me, who itches underneath my skin, begging to be released will escape, it isn't a question of if, it is certain that one day it will break through and my true colours will be revealed. Once I show him who I truly am, he will walk out the door. Flaws irritate him and I am full of them, so I have to bury them deep, lest he see who I am and be disgusted. It was hard to figure out what part of my personality was mine and which parts are the ones that I created to please him.

There are moments where I freeze and I retreat so deeply to a place inside my head where he could never reach me. His voice echoes but he doesn't get a response. I know he hates it when it happens, thinks I'm being dramatic and attention seeking but it is like something else takes over my body. I am a puppet and someone else is pulling the strings. I end up falling into my thoughts, my demons appear to rip me apart. I shivered. I was alive but dead when I fell into these trances.I shook my head, I would not let myself ruin this night. I had to stop these thoughts because he hated my insecurities. It made him angry and I wanted today to be perfect.

"You okay?" He asks and I raise my chin to look him in the face. I kiss him gently at first, but he is soon invading my mouth. The second he touches me, a fire erupts inside of me but I was in control of myself, it will all be okay. The touch of his fingertips is one of my addictions. My address is his arms and I am always homesick, whatever he gives is never enough.

He stops kissing me and I make a little whiny sound. He stares down at me before smirking. "There is a bed over there." He nibbles on my ear. "And I've always loved the sight of you in my bed." I laugh when he picks me up and carries me onto the bed. He litters kisses across my shoulder blade as he undoes the buttons to my top. "And I really like it when I wake up next to you." He drives me insane but in the same breath, he keeps me sane.

I don’t ever want to live without him. He is mine. Forever. He promised.

Let's play a game, you lie and I'll believe.

You think you've found love, but it's just death masquerading. Love is death. Death is love.

I smile at him as I pull his t shirt from over his head. "Just shut the hell up and kiss me, you idiot." Oh darling, I may be an utter mess but let's just forget that for a while. Love seemed like a good idea until I met you.

So he kisses me and we pretend that everything is going to be okay.



The memories always come back to me but he never will. He lives in my nightmares now. Thoughts were hammering against my skull and I was too weak to fight back.

The rain crashed against my naked pale skin in the moonlight. I hadn't bothered to grab my cloak when I escaped the smothering dormitory earlier so I was in shorts and a thin tank top; when I dressed for bed this evening I didn't think I would end up here. I wasn’t even wearing shoes. My nose was bright red, my hair was dripping, my clothes stuck to me like a second skin, my disgusting tainted lips were blue, the coldness was seeping into my bones, I couldn’t feel my frozen fingers and my body wouldn't stop shaking but I couldn’t find the energy to care. The harsh wind whipped against my back.

Rain.

Rain.

Please wash it all away.

Make me clean.

I shouldn’t be here. I should be tucked in bed being destroyed by the demons that haunt my sleep.

Instead, I'm at the edge of the great lake staring at my reflection and hating what I saw. If I step even just a couple of centimetres, I will tumble in and this nightmare would be over.

Because that is what my life is, a complete and utter nightmare that never eases. It was a fiasco. The loneliness never stops, but I know in a way that I am to blame because I have a problem with giving access to my world. The door wasn't just locked, it had chains wrapped around the lock and furniture stacked in front of it. I had people who loved me but I tried my best to keep them at a distance. I remember the start of the year when I was playing the part of the girl who had her crap in order. In these past few months, everything has spiraled into a disgusting mess, I don't recognise my life anymore. I have lost control. I remember at the start of the year, I was doing brilliantly at pretending that I was fine. What happened? Why can't I pretend anymore?

These past few days had been soul crushing. Then I think, has it only been that long? Since I found out that my best friend had betrayed me, the boy I hated kissed me and I had hurt the boy who cares so damn much about me. I hadn't slept since that night. I couldn't. I wouldn't.

I screamed at my reflection telling her I fucking hated her.

When you truly hate yourself, there isn't anything to powerful enough to talk you into believing that the things you screamed at the mirror weren't true. None of this, "Don't be stupid", "oh, you’re so pretty", "there are people that love you", "you're here for a reason" bullshit. All of them are lies. Hate will whisper that people aren't worth the trust or the time. That you are being used because they couldn't like you for the person you were; there had to be an ulterior motive. Then you're all alone and it makes you hate yourself more because you pushed everyone away and that is why you were alone.

These thoughts would all stop if I took a few steps...

I closed my eyes.

Albus’ touch was scorched into my skin. I had scrubbed my skin until it was red raw and I still couldn't remove the stain of him. His image overwhelms my brain. He had left bruises on my collarbone. He used to leave bruises too but they were a different kind. The name he marked upon my lips has been removed and replaced with another.

I had been tainted by Albus Potter.

I was utterly disgusting. I would never feel clean again. Nothing would ever be the same.

I have no idea of anything anymore. The more I learn, the more I know that I really don't know nothing.

Every breath is burning my lungs. I was a damaged girl. I am damaged permanently. My heart would never be whole again because he took pieces of it when he left and the people around me had crushed the remaining shards with their betrayals.

I opened my eyes.

"Hello Pippa." It was him. Standing next to me in the pouring rain but not a drop touched him. I rubbed my eyes, but he didn't disappear. I felt the pulse of my heart ringing in my ears. "You look bloody awful by the way." He looked me up and down like I was dirt.

"You're back…" I closed my eyes expecting him to be gone when I opened them but he was still there. "You're not real," I whispered, my voice cracking. "You cannot be fucking real...I can't go through this again."

After he left, I saw him everywhere, a stranger's face would morph into his and smirk at me. He followed me. I would look behind to find him looking at me until I blinked and he wasn't there any more. He appeared to me all the time, trapping me in a hell that I couldn’t escape. He left when I made a vow never to utter his name again nor try my best, to think of him.

He laughed at me. "I'm not." He smiled at me."I'm part of your imagination. You've finally lost the plot…then again, you've always hovered over the edge of madness...I'm the voice you always try to ignore." My demons don't just talk, they scream.

I was fucking crazy.

Complete and utter nut job.

I stared at him, trying to see the boy who once meant everything to me. He was the boy I loved but I couldn't see him because the boy I loved wasn't real. I had twisted my own memories.

Maybe I could use this chance to say everything I wanted to say to the real him that I never would.

I bit my lip hard, due to the coldness, I didn't even feel it. But I felt blood trickle down my chin. "I miss you. I think about you all the time." I wiped my chin with my arm, leaving a red streak across it.

"Well, considering I'm not real so I don't know what the boy actually thinks but I reckon he doesn't miss you. I mean, if he was bothered, he wouldn't ignore your existence would he? After the break up, he would have tried to get you back wouldn't he?" There were both truth and lies in his words but I couldn’t remember what the truth was, I only had this feeling that it existed. He laughed again. His laugh was no longer beautiful, it was evil. "He may still think about you but that doesn't matter one bit because he ain't doing crap about it. It's all about the actions isn't it?"

Tears came crashing down my face and I cursed myself. I should be stronger than this. I was crying too damn much lately. I was weak. So weak. As soon as I rubbed my tears away, new ones were already rolling down my face. I wrapped my arms around myself as my shaking got worse.

I had tried not to think about these ugly truths that existed within his words.. Some things were true imaginary and I just couldn't accept it.

"You've fucked me up, you know. I am a complete and utter mess because of you. I can't even say your name in my head." His name would burn my mouth and crack me into a thousand pieces.

"Oh darling," He rolled his eyes. "You were messed up long before you met me. You were a box that was labeled fragile, yet tragically, the crap inside was already broken."

"That's not true." I mumbled and he just raised an eyebrow. I am a liar. Loving me isn't easy because my edges are jagged and you will bleed when you stumble against them trying to get closer. You look inside of me and you'll find that some parts of me are out of order. Some are even missing. I am difficult. I am not worth it. I belong on a scrap heap with the rest of the broken things. I belong there, I don't belong with the living. I am not shiny, I am covered in rust.

I breathed in. "Fine! I'm a fucking mess and have been for years. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

He shrugged. "Not really, I couldn't actually give a damn." He stared at the water, looking at my reflection. He didn't have one being that he was my own personal made up demon.

The train has slipped off the tracks.

He is suddenly behind me, his lips next to my ear. No warm breath touched it. I look at the water. It still only shows me. "Everything you feel could be over in seconds." He giggles. His words are quiet, it is a struggle to hear them despite his close proximity. "No more struggling. All the memories of me would be lost. The water would wash away the taint from you skin left over from that Potter boy." His words were soft and gentle. Just like they were when he used to whisper that he loved me. "You see Pippa, you're the flame and everyone around you is a moth, that is why you destroy everyone you come into contact with…and frankly, that just won't do."

Potter boy.

Albus.

There was a tight pain in my chest.

I closed my eyes and followed his voice. I shuffled a little bit forward. He was guiding me. "That is it Pippa, just a little more. You're doing so well," He encouraged. "A couple more steps…"

I was enchanted. He was here with me. I wanted to play pretend for a little while longer. My world was whole when he was in it.

Another step.

I opened my eyes and I looked at the bedraggled girl in front of me. Her eyes were wide. She was trying to tell me something. This isn't it. This isn't right.

I closed my eyes again.

"I don't want to."

"But you must."

"No." I screamed.

And I screamed again.

And again.

"Pippa, you utter twat." Someone yelled before wrapping their arms around my waist, pulling me away from the edge. We hit the floor with a thud. "Have you lost your fucking mind?" I tried to fight whoever it was. I tried kicking and hitting but I couldn't escape. "Calm down, it's me, Damien." I opened my eyes to find it was Damien and not my demon made flesh. I looked around, there was no one around but me and Damien. "What the hell do you think you are doing?" I was shaking in his arms. "Look at you, you're freezing." He tore his cloak off and wrapped it tightly around me.

I wondered how Damien managed to find me.

"I wasn't going to jump." I managed to say. It isn't easy to talk when your teeth are chattering. For some reason, I wanted to assure my brother I was fine, even though we both knew that was a big fat lie. I tried to put up my walls, pretend I was fine but I couldn't do it anymore.

I wasn't fine.

Damien sighed. "For some reason, I don't believe you." He stared at me but I couldn't face him so I buried my face into his chest. "You're a complete idiot, I mean crap, I'm not ready to become an only child! Mom and Dad would die if they lost you…they would never recover." He mumbled before whispering. "I don't think I would recover…" There wasn't as much softness as you would expect with this confession. Instead, it was pure anger. Damien cleared his throat. "I can't believe you would be so stupid."

"You'd all be happy without me. I am useless. I am corruption. I am a monster."

"No, we really wouldn't. What you don't realise is that you keep on setting yourself on fire but it is not just you burning, we all burn with you...I don't know how to help you. I really don't but I want to." Damien took in a deep breath as he stared into my eyes, his eyes. The colour is the exact same. It is one of the only things that marks us as siblings. "If you burn, I burn too."

"Oh! This is utter bullshit." I pushed him away and tried to stand but my limbs felt like wood. I could hardly move them and I stumbled a bit. The shakes hadn't stopped and I suddenly realised that I was freezing.

But my pride made me throw Damien's cloak back in his face. "You can stuff your stupid cloak, you can stuff your lies and you can stuff your stupid fake offering of friendship." I howled. "Because you and me both know that all you’re good for is crappy broken promises that I'm stupid enough to believe time and time again!"

Damien stood up and grabbed my arm. ""What's the hell is the matter with you?"

"What's the matter with me?" I screeched. "The question should be, what the hell is matter with you?" I laughed bitterly. "You've been the shittiest brother a person could ever ask for, yet you come swanning over to me, acting like it is all fine, which is bloody damn isn't by the way and start talking about, how if I burn, you burn, which is just utterly laughable because I've been burning for a while and all you've been doing is getting a goddamn suntan from my flames."

Damien grabbed both of my wrists. "Calm down."

"No."

"At least wear my cloak. It's pouring down and you're turning blue."

"I don't want your fucking cloak."

"Well, you're having it." He bundled me into his cloak before picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder.

"What are you doing?" I tried to fight but it's hard when your limbs feel like lead, plus, I had never realised that Damien is actually pretty strong. I hit his back with my fists. "Put me down! Now!"

Damien laughed. "You hits are so weak, it is actually quite embarrassing."

"Your face is embarrassing." I hissed. Okay, I'll admit, my witty retorts are not quite up to scratch right now. "Where the hell are we going anyway!"

"I'm taking you back and we are having a long flipping chat, alright?"

"I don't want to talk to you." I huffed, as I tried to wriggle out of his grasp but he held me tighter. "Put me down! I'll report you to the headmaster!" Damien snorted with laughter. "I'll tell mom! I'll even tell dad! I'll tell the whole of Hogwarts that you kidnapped your own sister and you took her hostage." Damien just hummed a happy tune.

"I hate you." I screamed in frustration as we entered the castle. I was hoping to wake at least one of the teachers so I could be saved. I didn't want to talk to Damien. Right now, I wanted to hex him to oblivion and use his eyeballs as earrings.

"Of course you do."

"No, I really do." I spat, angrily. I looked around and I noticed we seemed to be going away from the Slytherin common rooms and that's when I realised where he was taking me. "You can't take me to the Gryffindor common room! It would betray to all my oaths! I swear Damien, if you take me there I will blow the whole place up and don't think I won't! I'll catch Gryffindor cooties!"

"Seriously Pippa, please shut up for one moment."

I just huffed. "Hate you."

We finally arrived at the gates of hell, also known as a portrait of a woman called the Fat Lady. Quite a charming name isn't it? She asked for the password after moaning that it was very late but Damien gave the password 'Golden Snitch' and she opened the door.

Damien still didn't put me down even after the portrait had slammed shut. He carried me through the common room to the dormitory. He pushed the door open. "Now, I'm going to put you down, don't try to do anything stupid." He finally put me down in the middle of the dormitory.

"Spoken like a true kidnapper." I muttered underneath my breath.

"Oh good you found her." I heard James say. I looked up to find James and Fred staring at me, they glanced at Damien who shrugged before looking at me again. "Are you alright?"

"No, I am not alright!" I huffed "I have been kidnapped against my will." I shrugged off Damien's cloak, which was now soaking wet. "James, your dad is an auror right?" James nodded, a bit confused. "Do you think I have good grounds for Damien to go to azkaban? You know, for kidnapping me? Which by the way is against the law." I shot my brother a dirty look.

Damien, Fred and James just laughed at me.

How charming.

It took a while for them to stop.

"Anyway, Fred, would you be able to go grab some clothes for my sister the comedian? I know they'll still be big, but they'll be a lot less baggier than anything me and James could find."

"Sure." Fred walked out of the room and a little while later, placed some jogging bottoms and a top in my hands. "These are small for me, but they should be okay for you. I got a towel for you too. " He smiled. He was being kind.

I hated it. I wanted to thank him, but the best I could do was not insult him and just take the stupid clothes.

So I took them before grumbling as I walked into the bathroom. I would have said no, but I was still chilled to the bone, I was starting to think I would never be warm again. I stripped everything off. I tried to fold my wet clothes before getting too angry at my fingers not doing as I ordered them too and throwing them into a corner. I dried myself with the towel, before pulling on the jogging bottoms. The bottoms were still too big covering my feet, but thanks to the pull string and double knots done with shaking hands, I was confident they would stay up. I shoved the plain black t shirt over my head and it hung mid thigh. I am wearing a person's clothes who was younger than me, yet it still looked like I had played dress up with my father's clothes.

Oh, the curses of being small.

I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, before quickly looking away. I figured I looked awful but what I had just glanced at was beyond awful.

I opened the bathroom door. "I'll give them back tomorrow." I muttered.

"Don't worry about it." Fred smiled.

I shivered.

"You're still cold?" James asked and I looked away, not wanting to admit it. I heard him banging around the room for a little bit and a trunk being slammed shut. "Here." He shoved a jumper into my hands. "Wear this." I opened my mouth to argue I was alright but James just shook his head. "Just wear the stupid jumper Pippa…please?"

I quickly shoved the jumper over my head, desperate to feel warm again. It was a maroon jumper with a chunky golden coloured 'J' stitched on the front. It fell to my knees. I shoved the sleeves up to my elbows.

"Nana makes them for all of us every Christmas."

I already knew that because I remember Scorpius mentioning them once after we had just found out about Emilie and Damien's relationship.

I opened my mouth but I quickly closed it again.

"Hot chocolate?" Fred called, him and Damien were gathered around a small stove. I just stood there still leaning against the bathroom door frame before James tugged at my sleeve and pulled me over. Fred shoved a cup of hot chocolate in front of me.

I looked around the room, for a place where the male species dwell, it wasn't too bad. I mean, it was mess, things were scattered everywhere but it wasn't disgusting, other than the fact that Gryffindor people lived here. On James' bed, I spied a very ugly ginger tabby cat. I was over there in seconds and interrupted his nap, as I picked up my cat. "What the hell is Lucie doing here? He hates you." He squirmed in my arms for a little bit, he didn't like the fact that my hair was dripping water onto his head. I hadn't seen Lucie around in a while but I hadn't been too worried, my chubby Lucifer was pretty independent. He knows where the kitchens are. Also despite being bigger and taller than most house elves, they loved him, always feeding him scraps of meat from the kitchens. I kissed his head before letting him jump out of my hands.

Damien laughed. "He may hate me but he loves James." He pointed at Lucie, who had legged it from me to James and was headbutting his legs. James sighed before picking him up, fussing him for a while before placing him onto his bed, where Lucie lay down on his pillow.

"Lucifer, you traitor! If you come back to the dungeons, there are two delicious pygmy puffs you can eat! Chomp down on PJ and Uggers."

"I don't think Cassie would be very happy without that."

"Who cares? I don't."

"Oh! Emilie did mention to me that she thinks you two have had a big argument because it doesn't seem as if you two are currently on the greatest speaking terms?"

"Oh? Did she now?"

"Yes."

"Stupid bitch."

"Who? Cassie or Emilie?"

"The bloody both of them!"

"You don't mean that, well maybe about Emilie you do, but not Cassie." James looked at me and I just glared at him.

"I do." I folded my arms across my chest grumpily.

Damien stared at James and Fred, before asking, "Would you be able to leave us alone for a little bit?"

"Yeah, we will just hang out in the common room for a bit." Fred said before getting up with James and leaving us alone.

"So," Damien shrugged, "What happened?" Damien asked, while yawning.

"You happened."

"What does that mean?"

"Don't play dumb. You kissed Cassie, my best friend, then you discarded her like she was nothing." I was angry again. "Why the hell did you do that? How would you feel if I went around kissing your friends? I'm sure you wouldn't like it...I despise you." At that moment, I really did mean it. "You're a disgusting human being and I can't believe my utter bad luck to be related from you...Grandad Nott was right, you should be blasted from the family tree."

Since the war, rules in azkaban changed. It was run by aurors for one. It was also decided to follow the muggle way prisoners rights, you could now visit whenever you wanted. There was rules to be followed, you had to request an visitation with the aurors office because they were the ones that took you, where you forfeited your wand amongst other checks you had to pass. You sat in a room. One clear wall stood was in the middle of the room. It was enchanted with spells that made it impossible to break. I reckon a lot of spells were involved to create this wall. You could even hear the person on the other side. You stood on one side, the captive on the other side. Two aurors on each side of wall. Sometimes more depending on how volatile and evil the prisoner was. My father visits every so often because he feels like he should. When my father told my grandad that his precious grandson had been sorted into Gryffindor, he demanded that my father disown Damien immediately. He was scum. A traitor. An embarrassment to the family name. He needed to be blasted off the family tree. His grandson was dead to him. When I got sorted into Slytherin, I became the future of the Nott house, despite me being a girl because he claimed that women were only good for breeding. My dad came home from that visit with sore, red rimmed eyes. It was obvious he had been crying to my ten year self. He hugged me tightly when he returned, stroking my hair while telling me he loved me and always would. Obviously, he refused to blast Damien from the family tree. He was proud of his son but his father's words still hurt.

Damien looked more angry than I had ever seem him before. I had pushed him too far. I had touched a sore spot. "You're actually mad Pippa. Mom and Dad are right, we do need to put you in therapy." Damien spat and I was stunned. My parents thought I needed therapy? I had a feeling that my holidays would be dreadful. "No, it isn't enough that you had a boyfriend that attacked you whenever you did something he didn't like," There was bile in my throat, I had buried those ugly memories so deep that I forgot where I placed them but now they were forcing themselves to the surface. He had an angry fire inside him and eventually I got burned from it. My broken wrist from him holding it too tight. The scratches across my cheek to claim me. The bruises stained with his fingerprints. The black eye from bumping into his fist and so much more. "We had to remove you from school and you had to take your OWLS in the summer. Even then, you were stupid and refused to press charges because you carry this delusion that he is coming back but he isn't, you need to accept that. For starters, he isn't allowed any where near you and second of all, he fucking abused you, why would you even want him back?"

When we first broke up, I imagined us getting back together when I turned seventeen because coming of age meant I could undo the order that keeps him away from me. I imagined he would wait for me.

I am so stupid.

That isn't going to happen.

And truthfully it shouldn't.

I remember sitting by myself with only an examiner for company. Missing a whole month of school. As soon as my secret was discovered, my parents took me away to help me and let me heal. What a joke that was. I am terrible at letting things go. I carried my past with me.

"You're fucking crazy, screaming at yourself, then trying to drown yourself. Crazy Pippa, that's all you'll ever be."

He was right. I was crazy.

"You don't know how hard you are to deal with, everything has been about you lately and I'm sick of it."

I was sobbing. I howled with tears. I tried to use my sleeves to stem my tears but it was useless. I felt like his words would kill me. My eyes were stinging and my vision was blurry. I would never recover from this blow.

"I hate you." I meant it. I truly did. "Oh my god. I don't know how we ended up this way." I sobbed, wishing we could go to a better time when we would do anything for each other.

Damien shrugged. His anger was slowly fading away but mine still remained. "I don't know. I mean, I hate the fact that you prefer Scorpius over me."

"You can't judge me for that. Remember when you first started Hogwarts?"

Damien looked at me confused. "What does that have to do with anything?"

I smiled sadly. "Well dearest brother, I'll refresh your memory about something." I breathed in deeply, I could do this. I could be open and honest. "As soon as we got home from dropping you off on the train, I was bereft. I ended up wandering around the house for a long time until I ended up in your bed, where I cried because I no longer had my best friend with me." My hands clenched. It took all my willpower to make them unroll but they wouldn't stop shaking. "Dad found me later, still curled up in your blanket and he told me it wasn't all bad, I could still write to you. So that's what I did, I wrote you a letter every single day for the whole year, I would spend hours sitting by the window looking for our owl and do you know how many times the owl returned with a response for me? Not even once."

Damien looked truly horrified. "I didn't reply? Not even once? I remember being busy with general stuff, you know how it gets sometimes but you must have sent like over 250 letters and there is no excuse for ignoring 250 letters…I can't believe I did that." He felt bad about that, but not about ripping all my wounds open and confirming my worst fears.

"Well, you did. Now can you blame me for turning to others? You abandoned me. You came home for the holidays and you didn't want to know me anymore. You banned me from your room, a place I had sort solace from since I can remember. You changed, the games we played before we suddenly too childish, you were too cool for me. So eventually, I had to teach myself to need you less. It got to a point where I had convinced myself that I didn't need you at all." I shook my head. "I didn't need you if you didn't need me."

Damien sighed wrapped his arms around me and squeezed me tight. "I'll always need you, Pip." Damien whispered. "You're my baby sister." He stared at me but I closed my eyes, unable to look at him. I didn't trust that his wasn't just another false promise. "I remember whenever you used to have a bad dream or something had unnerved you, you used to crawl into my bed in the middle of the night, if Scorpius had slept over, he would come to as he slept mostly in your room because he thought a monster lived in his wardrobe." He laughed. "Do you remember?"

I did. Scorpius had his own room at our house but when we were little, he hardly spent any time in there. He preferred my room. Until I did the same thing to him as Damien did to me and banned him from my room. Once again, someone hurts me so I hurt someone else. It's a twisted version of pass the parcel. I remember Scorpius crying at my bedroom door after a terrible nightmare and I still refused to let him in my room. Instead, I just held a pillow against my ears to drown out his wails. That very morning after, I unlocked my door and I found Scorpius fast asleep on the landing outside my door. Guilt washes over me. I couldn't talk. I was no better than Damien, in fact, I think I am a lot worse. It was a big deal when someone had hurt me but I had forgotten about the misery I had inflicted on others.

Oh my gosh Scorpius. I am…sorry. How do you not hate me? Because I do.

"Yeah, I remember." I choked, utterly disgusted with myself.

"I would wake up to find you both fast asleep, normally one of you would be drooling on my pillow and I used to feel so lucky that you two existed in my life.

"And how do you feel now?"

Damien thought about it for a moment. "I still feel same...I just forgot I felt that way. It got buried under crap that I realise doesn't even matter anymore. You petrified me tonight." He ran his fingers through his hair. "You really did...I'm sorry for what I said, I lost my temper…I didn't mean it."

I unwrapped myself from his arms. "Yes, you did." I breathed in deeply. I was tired, so tired and I have reached the end of the rope and it is time to let go. His words have pushed me too far. Reminding me of what he had inflicted when I had forgotten was something I just could not forgive.

It was time to let go. It was too much to bear. I just couldn’t do it anymore. Loving Damien was just too painful.

"I'm done with you Damien. I am no longer your burden, I no longer exist to you. I have problems, I know but I can't help them." Damien stood there, utterly stunned, tears had started to drip from his eyes. A huge part of me was proud that I had made him cry. It was nice that someone was crying about me rather than me crying about them. Another part of me was ashamed. "I'm going to go to someone who doesn't put up with me out of duty." I didn't ask him to take my pain as a personal insult. Damien didn't know me at all because if he did, he would know that I hated being the centre of attention. The very idea made me want to vomit.

Damien hates people being angry at him, I hoped he would think of this moment and be filled with regret for the rest of his life. He deserved that much.

My name necklace felt heavy around my neck. When I was born, I received a present from Damien. A gold necklace that spelled out Pippa in swirly handwriting encrusted with peridot around the letters which is my birthstone as I was born on August 20th. It seems my nickname was decided before I even entered the world. For five years, it stayed in my mother's jewellery box until I begged her that I was grown up enough to have it in my possession and not lose it. My mother agreed, exhausted from my begging. She placed it around my neck, it hung loosely on me then but now sits comfortably around my neck. She told me it was a sign of my brothers love for me. I hadn't taken it off for 11 years, it was one of my most precious possessions along with my thick, chunky, golden locket that sits above my necklace. Scorpius had given it me for my 13th birthday. It had a snake made of emeralds on the front and peridot encrusted around the edge of it and on the back it had my initials. Inside, he had put a picture of him and me when we were about eight. We are laughing together as he tries to twirl me before we both end up falling over, crashing into the grass. The other side had a picture of me, Emilie and Cassie grinning. I had replaced that with a picture of me and Cassie. I am scowling because I didn't want my picture taken but Cassie kisses my cheek, throws her arm around my shoulder, whispers a dirty joke in my ear and I end up bursting out laughing.

Those two possessions mean everything to me.

But I think it is time to give one up.

I couldn't stand it. It felt wrong. But I had to do it. I couldn't bear that every time I looked into the mirror, my necklace would be mocking me. Damien didn't love me. Not the real me.

I reached around my necklace to undo the clasp and Damien shook his head.

"No, Pippa, please don't do this." He begged me. I had reduced him to begging. I should've felt great but I felt awful. This was not how I wanted things to end up.

The necklace felt so wrong in my hand and my neck felt naked. I looked at my beautiful necklace once more, trying to imprint it into my memory forever. I reached over and opened Damien's clenched hand. I stuffed the necklace into his hand and wrapped his fingers around it.

I looked up and stared at him before turning away. My final look. "Goodbye Damien." I whispered as my heart hammered against my ribs as I walked away. I heard him screaming my name but I didn't turn back. I couldn't. If I stayed any longer, I would fall apart and forgive him. My stitches were already frayed. I couldn't take anymore.

I ran out of the common room, not bothering to say anything to James and Fred.

I ran until I got to the Slytherin boys dormitory and I quietly entered it. I walked over to the boy who had always accepted me and poked him roughly in the shoulder.

"Pippa?" Scorpius mumbled sleepily.

"Move over."

Scorpius shuffled over to make room for me in his bed. I climbed in and wrapped the blankets around me tightly.

Scorpius opened his eyes and stared at me. "Why are you crying?"

"Because everything has gone to shit."

"Tell me." He encouraged softly.

"Damien told me that I was crazy, that I always will be. That I'm really difficult to put up with. He said a lot of stuff. I told him that I was done with him. Forever." There already felt like a piece of my heart was missing. "My parents want to put me in therapy, I think I'm losing my mind and Cassie betrayed me too."

"What she do?"

"She kissed Damien."

"Oh." He said so softly that I almost didn't hear it.

"I don't know what to do."

"Screw Damien, ignore everything he ever said. He doesn't get to decide who you are, you do." Anger was laced in his words. It was always weird when Scorpius got angry. It just didn’t seem right. He was sunshine and sunshine doesn’t get angry."And Cassie? Forgive her."

"Why should I?"

"Because she might have messed up but she does love you. You're everything to her."

I sighed.

"Be the bigger person Pippa."

"I can't. She is taller than me, I suppose I could stand on a box?"

Scorpius attempted to glare at me. "You know that isn't what I meant."

"I know."

For a while, everything was silent.

"Scorpius?" I lay on my side to face him.

Scorpius opened his eyes sleepily. "Yeah Pippy?"

Just this one time, I won't moan or tell him off about that stupid nickname. Just this once, he can call me Pippy and I won't shout.

The words were hard to say but I forced myself. I had to know. I need to understand. "Why don't you hate me? I know I would hate you if you had done half the things to me that I had done to you and-"

"-Shhh." Scorpius whispered. "Let's have none of that. I could never hate you, you're my family." He grinned and I smiled weakly back. "Even if you can't see it, there is a lot of good in you despite everything you've ever done. I will always see the good in you. You try to ignore it or sometimes I think you forget, so I decided a long time ago that I was going to be the one to remind you of it when you get a little lost."

Out of all the people in my life, he deserved these next two words so I took in a deep breath and whispered them into his ear. "Thank you." He looked so happy then. His face lit up like it does when he is in a sweetie shop. "I'm going to try to not be so rubbish to you in the future."

Scorpius gives me hope.

He doesn't deserve any of the things I say to him.

"I don't care, the point of loving someone is to love them when they least deserve it because that's when they most need it…or at least that is what my mom told me and I think it's true. I know you don't mean half the things you say anyway. You'll always have me...you've started to let me in again and now that I'm in, you ain't shoving me out again, so do your worst." He kissed my forehead. "Now get some sleep, we're going home tomorrow." He said, full of excitement, despite him proclaiming to love all holidays equally so none of them felt left out, I knew Christmas was his favourite. "Also, remember, tomorrow is a new day. Things will get better."

I tried to believe him but I felt like my past defined me.

Scorpius quickly fell back asleep and I just lay there, listening to his breathing.

Everything was still messy but in that moment, I felt a sense of peace. I felt safe. Scorpius made me feel safe. He always did.

If Scorpius was around, I would never be truly alone.

I realised in that moment how lucky I was to have this stupid, loving boy as my family. I couldn't have been given better. Scorpius, the boy who cries at romantic films that I just laugh at, who is afraid of horror films but watches them with me anyway in the cupboard with the secret tv. The boy who is afraid of heights, who loves me no matter what was the strongest person I knew. I knew I wasn't easy to deal with and Albus, being his best friend can't be a smooth ride, yet he put up with us without complaining at all. He must have got down about it all occasionally but he fought against it with smiles, being positive and love. It is a lot easier to give in to the darkness than it is to fight against it.

Maybe that is why Albus and Scorpius were friends. He needed someone to remind him that he too, was not the person this demons told him he was. Occasionally, you just need someone to tell you you're not as awful as you think you are. Even though I couldn't imagine that Albus had any good in him, I knew Scorpius believed the opposite. He believed in chance after chance, that there was a way out of the mess you had created for yourself. That you may be chaos in human form, prone to ruining everything around you, riddled with scars, lost and broken but you could always be saved.

Staring at his face reminds me there is good in the world.

Even my darkest days and thoughts are no match for the blinding light that is Scorpius.

I don't believe that another person can fix you. I believe you can break people but not fix them. Though I do believe that you can help and encourage someone to try to put themselves back together. A person can hand you the thread to stitch yourself back together but you've got to be the one to make the stitches. You save yourself or you remain unsaved. You can't rescue a person who doesn't want to be rescued. It has to come from you in the end.

After a while, I fell into the most peaceful slumber than I had in a long time. Even Damien's words couldn't touch me when Scorpius was next to me. His words will haunt me for the rest of my life but just for tonight, I didn't allow myself to think of them.

I woke up alone. I rolled over expecting to see Scorpius but his space was empty. I sat up, suddenly feeling cold.

There was a note on the pillow.

Dearest Pippa,

I left you sleeping because I know you haven't slept much lately. I'll see you later at breakfast. Remember that today is a brand new day.

All my love,
Scorpius.


I folded up the note carefully until it couldn't be folded anymore.

"Hello my little kangaroo."

His voice made me jump. I turned to find Albus sitting on the edge of the bed that was next to Scorpius. His lips curled into a horrible smirk. He wasn't wearing a top and I adverted my eyes. His hair was messier than I had ever seen it. It seems that even monsters get bed hair. I guess that is nice to know.

His eyes were wide, the dark circles were even worse than before. He stared at me with an expression I couldn't quite figure out. There was some disgust there but the other emotions were lost to me.

For some reason, I found him to be one of the most beautiful things I had ever laid my eyes on.

I hated myself for that.

I unwrapped myself from the blankets and climbed out of bed. Reading him was impossible because he was capable of anything. He was someone you couldn't predict. His heart was cold. He was cold. But his soul still manage to set me on fire. I should ignore this though, I was being stupid. It is like falling for the devil and expecting him to act like an angel. I feel sorry for the person who ends up loving him. I will not be that girl because Albus doesn't know how to let people in. He is not the falling in love kind.

I looked up to find him looking at me with his beautiful, evil eyes. Albus bit his lip as his face scrunched up in anger.

"Why the fuck are you wearing that?" He sneered with a clenched jaw. "Did my brother give you that after you fucked him?"

I gave him a cold look. "Yes. We're also getting married tomorrow, you're not invited." I answered sarcastically. I shook my head as I walked over and stood in front of him. "What the fuck Potter? What's the matter with you?"

He tugged on the jumper pulling me close. I rested in between his legs. My body meshed against his. "Off." He muttered angrily as he tugged at the jumper and pulled it over my head. Albus then chucked it across the room before looking me up and down. "Much better."

I rolled my eyes. I felt my familiar need to escape consume me but I ignored it.

"Why aren't you running?" He was confused. He expected me to freak out but I was pretending I was calm. It seems I still have some of my acting skills. Awesome.

I opened my mouth to confess because he understands. We are made from the same things. "Everything has lost the plot, Damien said I was crazy and that's all I'll ever be. I replied with telling him that I was done with him and I think I am for now… Cassie kissed Damien most probably when I was taken out of school last year because my...something used to…" I couldn't say it.

Albus stared at me before frowning. "I know."

Of course he knows. Everyone knows. It was the biggest gossip in years. I had forced myself to forget and I despised Damien for making me remember. My heart hurts to think about Damien.

"I need to forget." My mouth was dry.

I expected him to reject me, to laugh at me but instead he surprised me. He always surprised me.

He sighed softly to himself before he clutched my jaw with both of his hands, pressing his poisoned lips against my severely chapped ones and drained the life out of me. His poison seeps into my bloodstream but I liked that as there are things inside me I need to kill. Kissing him felt so natural. He pulled me softly onto his bed so that I was on top of him. "We're fuck ups...and that's wonderful." He whispered against my neck, in between kisses. "Embrace it. Embrace being human. " His words seduced me. No more pretending. His words could easily kill me but his touch brought me to life. It would be the most beautiful form of death that existed. After all, all of us are doomed anyway. I thought about his words, no more hiding the monster I am. We could be monsters together, creating havoc. Oh, what an utterly stupid thought. But my mask always seems to slip in front of him until I get a hold on myself. Truly though, there was no need to being fake, even though I occasionally thought that maybe Albus was almost himself but I knew I was wrong. The boy had secrets but then again, so did I until my secrets tumbled out, one by one. I had seen so many multiple personalities from Albus that I wasn't sure which one was the real one. I'm not even sure that he knew. He had lost himself within his parents shadows.

His lips were charring my skin. I ran my fingers across his chest and that's when I noticed the bruises on his hip. A few bruises were scattered across his chest and a feeling that I wasn't expecting rose within me; jealously. Albus was seeing someone else and the thought of someone else touching him made me sick to my stomach. I would have to bury these emotions, they're dangerous. I kissed him harder, desperate to remove her, whoever the hell she is and leave my imprint on his lips so when she next kissed him, he would taste of me. I bit and I scratched, leaving my mark upon him. Try to explain that to the girl you're most likely sleeping with Albus. He just gasped before connecting my lips back to his. "Fuck." His voice was raspy as his arms slithered across my waist to bring me closer before his hand moved through my hair. I hope it doesn't get stuck. My hair is kinda knotty. Like me.

Am I too much for you? Because oh my god, you're too much for me.

It was odd. The time I felt most human was when I was doing something terrible and this was the most awful idea. But yet, I couldn't stop. I couldn't pull myself away.

His kisses dulled the noises in my head. I forget the world exists. The world revolves around us. I almost taste tomorrow in them but that was just the power of a brilliant kisser. You think they're promising the future but they are just looking for the next best thing.

His lips move away from mine and I glare at him but he pays no attention to that and grabs my wrist and stares at me for a while. I wondered what he thinks when he looks at me. I hope it is horrible things because I couldn't bear it if it wasn't. I was coming back to my senses. "This didn't happen, okay?" I choked before he bites my lip, nibbling on it.

"Obviously." He mutters against my lips before chuckling. He kissed me like he was starving and I was his sustenance. But I knew I was one of many. This fact didn't matter when I was kissing him. I forgot all others that came before me.

My heart beats widely against my ribs. It exists. It lives.

I am alive after all.

"I still hate you." I had to say this. This was our routine. The only way I am able to cope with the fact that Albus and I kissed is if I know that nothing has changed. I kissed so roughly that he'd know that it was true. "I fucking hate you." I whispered as I pulled away and stared blankly at him.

Albus had a wry smile on that stupidly alluring face. You can't look too long otherwise you'll fall into his orbit and never want to leave."I hate you too." He hummed against my lips before trapping my lips with his. His kisses sting and it is wonderful.

I pull away first, I can't get addicted to his kisses, I would never survive. Albus removed his arms and I climb off him. He watched my every move. I picked up the jumper that Albus had thrown across the room. I folded it slowly and placed it on Scorpius' bed. I figured Scorpius would give it to James. I didn't want to give it back as James had witnessed my vulnerable side and I was embarrassed.

I left the room without saying goodbye. We may have kissed but I still didn't like him. I walked slowly towards my own dormitory. I had a lot of things to do, I had to transform my appearance into a girl who had got it together. Otherwise I would get moaned at by my mother. I didn't have to pack much. I had most of the things I needed at home. I just hoped that Damien remembers to get Lucie into his cage so we can take him back home.

I entered my dormitory and walked over to my bed. I pulled out an emerald green dress that nipped in at my waist and fell to my knees. It was one of my mother's favourites. Then it reminded me of someone's dead eyes so I threw it back into my case.

I stared at it for a moment before taking it out and folding it perfectly. Instead, I took out a deep purple dress with a stupid full skirt that fell down to my ankles. My mother buys my clothes so she must have thought I would look decent in it. My mother dresses me like the stereotypical princess. It is no wonder nobody takes me seriously.

I sighed, feeling so frustrated with myself. I hated the fact I had to have everything in order. Any other person would have left that dress scrunched up.

But I am not that person.

The emerald dress stared at me so I slammed down the lid of my trunk so I didn't have to look at it anymore. Soon as I got the chance, I will set it on fire and watch it burn.

I picked up the brush and started to brush my hair.

Bloody tangles.

This is going to take ages.

"You didn't sleep in your bed last night." Cassie spoke softly and it pissed me off. I had been snapping at her, over every little thing yet she hasn't bite back. That's what made me angry. I hadn't even noticed she was in the room.

Maybe I am an angry little individual.

Scorpius voice rings out in my mind.

Forgive her. Forgive her. Forgive her.

"I slept in Scorpius' bed." I said coldly but I instantly cringed afterwards. I looked at her. She still looked like my beautiful best friend.

"Pippa, I don't know what to do anymore. You're so angry at me and I don't know what to do to make you forgive me." Cassie pleaded. She tried to grab my hand but I pulled it away. Her touch made me feel dirty. Those hands had been on the boy who had tried to destroy me with his words last night. Her touch was covered in betrayal. I also wondered whether she could smell Albus on me.

I sighed. "I just need to know why."

"Because I'm a fuck up," Cassie bit her lip to stop her from crying. "I was so angry with myself that I hadn't noticed that he was abusing you. So I did something stupid to fill the hole that you created when you left. I tried to destroy the shame that lived inside me." Cassie ran her fingers through her hair as I seized up. I hated the word abuse. I had heard it many times but every time it is uttered, I feel like I am being stabbed in the gut. "I missed you, I couldn't cope without you."

"I had no choice. I tried to fight it but my parents weren't having none of it."

"I know. I don't blame you for leaving but I need you so badly, it was hard when you went away." She whispered.

"I know." I breathed in deeply. Scorpius may be stupid most of the time but he gives good advice. I had never took his advice but there is times when I had wished I had. "Tell you what. I'll try, okay? That is the best I can do." Cassie nodded and had a small smile on her face. "Just might take some time."

"Okay." She squeezed my hand and this time I forced myself to not let go. I couldn't lose her. She was my Cassie. I was her Pippa. That was a given.

"I fuck up too, it's okay. Mistakes are what make us human...supposedly or at least that's what my aunt says." I shrugged. "She can be such a hippie at times."

"Your aunt is awesome."

"I know."

She gave me Scorpius.

We stood there silently until I whispered, "I still love a boy who destroyed me."

"He didn't destroy you," Cassie smiled sadly at me. "You're still here, living."

There were many times that I wished I wasn't but now, I'm not so sure.

"I need to get ready." I sighed. "Oh, by the way, I'm an only child now." I turned to leave but Cassie grabbed my arm

"What the hell?" Cassie stuttered before staring at me. Her eyes finally settled on my neck."Where is your necklace?"

"I gave it away, I didn't want it anymore."

"It seems the whole world exploded when I was sleeping…what has happened?"

"Do you think I'm mad?"

"Only in the good way."

"Crazy Pippa, that's me apparently…and it's probably true. I almost drowned myself last night because the voices in my head would not shut up. I didn't want to, but I am so weak Cassie and I couldn't take another moment listening to them."

Cassie wrapped her arms around me. It was weird because we had never been one for hugs. I hated them because of germs amongst other reasons and I wasn't sure how Cassie felt about them. Our relationship never needed them, I used to be so sure about our friendship. Cassie and I had never even uttered those three little words to each other. Not in the good times and never in the bad.

"You're strong Pippa, you need to believe in yourself more, one day at a time and you're not crazy. Your illness doesn't make you crazy."

"He said I was hard to deal with."

"Who isn't?"

"I don't know how to deal with him and make him not hate me. I don't know how to make him happy…so I cut him out. Was that wrong?"

"No, you're not ready for the drama that Damien brings."

I am not ready for a lot of things but things happen that I cannot control. So I'm cracking.

I pulled myself from her arms. "I have to get ready, I've got to look perfect." I won't accept anything less.

I have to convince my parents that I am fine. A little white lie.

"I'll do your make up?" Cassie offered and I nodded. Her makeup skills were superior to mine. At home, I convinced our house elf Maude to help me. At home, I had to look my best, stand up straight and be a proper little lady.

It was exhausting being so fake, but that is the story of my life.

It took a while for me to get ready. Poor Cassie had the job of turning a person who hasn't bothered about their looks for a while into Pippa who is fine and coping well. Make up covered up the sleepiness nights and blusher helped me look alive. My hair was brushed, something I had not bothering with lately. I didn't care what I looked like. It only mattered to get through the day. I was in my school robes, my dress was packed into Cassie's trunk so I could change into it on the train.

"I'm starving." Cassie muttered as we headed to breakfast. "I think today is a pancake day…and lots of toast."

I thought maybe I'd try to eat today. Even if it did taste like cardboard to me.

We entered the great hall and headed straight to the Slytherin table where we grabbed a corner.

I filled up my glass with orange juice and took a sip. I could nearly taste it. I forced myself to take a gulp of it.

I picked up some toast and chewed on it. I wasn't in the mood for eating but I forced myself to eat a slice.

Cassie had a mound of pancakes on her plate and she grinned at me. "Prepare to be amazed by the pancake eating machine."

I rolled my eyes at her. Cassie just laughed.

I scanned the great hall for Scorpius. I wondered where he was. His note said he'd see me here.

Instead of Scorpius, I found a sight I didn't want to see.

Nathan Morgan was talking to Lily.

Lily looked traumatised. Her horror was written all over her face and she was trying to hide her hands but I could see that they were shaking.

For some reason, I had stood up.

For some reason, I was walking towards them both.

For some reason, my fist was clenched around my wand.

"Step away from her otherwise I'll hex you Morgan."

I wasn't sure why I was acting like a Gryffindor. I just knew that I saw a little bit of Lily in me when I was younger. Lily didn't deserve to have her heart broken. She was such a happy character that it was almost irritating. I knew that Lily would eventually be fine, as she was that sort of person who healed from traumatizing experiences, where I have a wound that festers. I remember the times I used to wish for someone to come and save me when I was in trouble.

She still a rare innocent. She has gotten into my affections without me realizing. It was utterly disgusting.

"Calm down Philippia." Morgan spoke to me, his words as smooth as honey. He smiled at me, there was something in that smile that I didn't like. It was forced. It wasn't real "We're just talking."

I looked at Lily who couldn't meet my eyes.

"And now you're done talking." I stepped in front of Morgan, blocking him. He wouldn't get any closer, I wouldn't let him. "Come on Lily, want to have breakfast with me and Cassie?" Lily swallowed a lump in her throat before nodding unable to look at either of us. Even if she had said no, I would have dragged her out of this situation by her hair. "Good." She stood up. "Morgan, if I catch you anywhere near her again, you will regret it." I was surprised with how much anger was in my voice.

Morgan didn't say anything but just raised his eyebrows as we walked quickly to the Slytherin table. Cassie now had an empty plate and was scanning the food, wondering what to eat next.

"Lily is sitting with us." I announced as I sat back down. Lily choose to sit next to me.

"Welcome to the cool table!" Cassie smirked and Lily let out a small laugh, it seemed as soon as she was removed from Morgan's presence, life started seeping back into her.

I chewed on my cardboard toast for a little while, not even jam had made it better. I could barely taste the jam even though I had heaped on loads.

"Are you excited for the holidays?" Lily asked before spooning a large pile of porridge into her mouth. Some of it dripped down her chin which she quickly wiped with her hand despite a napkin being right next to her bowl.

I really am going to catch a disease one day from being too near this girl.

"Yes." Cassie answered.

"No." I muttered, thinking of the fresh hell that awaited me when I got home. I have disowned my brother and I will be forced to spend time with him because of my stupid parents renewal, which by the way will be a fiasco of the highest proportions.

"Come on Pippa, you've got the wedding!" Cassie teased.

I glared at her.

"My family has been invited to that you know, I think we're definitely going." Lily smiled but I squirmed as horror rose in me.

Albus would be there. He would be at my home, my place of refuge.

As if that day wouldn't be bad enough.

"What? Why?" It came out a lot sharper than I intended.

"Our parents are friends Pippa." Lily reminded me but it was new information to me as I had never paid attention before. "Because of you know, Damien and James being best friends for like seven years?"

"Oh."

I tried to call upon some hate for Damien for making friends with James but I couldn't. I just was flooded with this cold, empty feeling.

"What's wrong?" Lily was unable to hide the hurt from her voice and I was suddenly hit with an emotion I despised; guilt.

I sighed. "It's not you Lily, it's someone else." For some reason, I didn't want to admit that I had a fucked up relationship with her brother. I kept it all to myself, not wanting to admit it exists. I would admit to the fighting if I was forced but never to the kisses that we had shared. That was our secret though I hated that we shared a secret at all. I could never explain what was going on between me and Albus because I could barely explain it to myself.

Lily opened her mouth to respond but she never got the chance because at that moment, Scorpius turned up, humming a tune that was far too happy.

"Good morning!" He grinned, "I see we have a guest," Scorpius sat down next to Cassie. She smiled at him, unable to resist that stupid goofy grin of his. "Welcome to the Slytherin table, my dear Hufflepuff."

Lily snorted. "Thanks Scorpius."

I looked across the table to find him staring at me with those eyes that I used to get lost in. He was smirking at me before he raised his goblet, mouthed cheers at me and took a sip. A chill went down my spine and I shivered.

"Pippa?" Lily's voice brought me out of my daze, when I looked again, only an empty seat remained.

I was going mad. My thoughts couldn't be trusted.

"Pippa?" Lily repeated and I turned to her. I was trying to hide the fact that I was worried I was losing my mind but I failed. Lily looked at me, worry etched on her face. It didn't suit her at all. "Are you okay?"

It took me several moments to find my voice. "I'm fine," I whispered. "Just went in a daze, what's going on?" Everyone at the table knew I was lying but nobody decided to pull me up about it. Which was lucky for me, I knew if I was questioned, the truth would come spilling out and everyone would worry about me.

Cassie cleared her throat. "Lily has invited you and me to a sleepover in the holidays, I said we'd be happy to come." She said it so firmly that I knew any arguments would be useless. I was going, whether I liked it or not.

I shrugged. "Sounds good."

I should have signed up to stay at bloody Hogwarts for the holidays.

Then Albus appeared, throwing himself into the chair next to Scorpius. He said nothing and didn't look at any of us. He didn't even bother to make a comment about Lily sitting at our table.

"Morning sunshine!" Scorpius said cheerily.

Albus just glared at him and chewed on his toast. The sleepy eyes, the circles underneath his eyes gave me the impression that Albus was struggling to sleep lately.

The group broke into mindless chatter about nothing in particular, Albus didn't say a word and I only muttered a response when needed.

It was soon time to get into the carriages that allows us to escape this place. I looked at the thestrals pulling the carriages, I found them utterly beautiful. I lifted my hand and stroked the head of the thestral that would be pulling our carriage before I climbed in. Lily had decided to stick with us, despite the weird looks she got.

It was quiet in the carriage, I just stared out of the window. I wondered whether I'd be able to survive this holiday without losing the rest of my crumbling sanity. My thoughts were being loud. Too loud. It took all my effort to silence them.

Once arriving at Hogsmeade station, we boarded the train, grabbing a compartment. Lily still had not left us and I really did not know why. The feeling of the need to destroy the friendship that was forming between us surfaced but I knew I couldn't. I hated myself for being so weak. My heart didn't have space for her, yet she was forcing herself in anyway.

I sat by the window, Lily by my side, Cassie by hers with Scorpius and Albus across from us.

I wonder what Albus thought about me. I knew I was just a game to him but I wondered how far he would take it...and how far I'd let him.

I just stared out of the window for most of the journey. Scorpius went off to a prefects meeting and Albus followed him.

Once they had left, I pulled my dress from Cassie's trunk, pleased to find it had no wrinkles. Cassie pulled the zipper up for me on the back of the dress and I looked the part of Pippa who is coping quite well with life.

I breathed in deeply. I was nervous about seeing Damien again. I wondered whether he would seek forgiveness or if he would be cold. Maybe he didn't want anything to do with me anymore either. I didn’t know if that would break my heart or make me happy.

The train arrived at Kings Cross and we stumbled out onto the platform.

Cassie looked around trying to find her parents. I couldn't see mine anywhere.

Cassie looked at me and smiled. "I'll write to you, a lot. I wish you'd get a telephone though! So much easier!" I almost smiled at the thought of my parents reactions if I bought a telephone home.

"As if I'll ever get one. You should get hooked up to the floo network, now that would make life easier."

Cassie laughed before shaking her head. "You know that's never going to happen."

Cassie didn't even have a fireplace in her house but I don't think the network would hook up her mostly muggle household anyway.

Cassie reached out and squeezed my fingers. "See you in a few days."

I nodded as I watched her hug Lily before strolling off to find her family.

"Anyway, I better be going."

I was about to walk away when Lily grabbed onto my sleeve. "Wait! Come meet my parents properly…please? I've spoken about you a lot to them but they've said they've never really spoken to you." She took my arm and I just stared at it. I wondered whether I'd her feelings a lot if I yanked it back.

I wondered when I started to care about her feelings. It irritated me because caring about her was giving her the power to hurt me and I had been hurt enough for a lifetime.

It didn't take long to find Albus and James standing near their parents. Albus was scowling and James was hugging his mother.

"Mom, Dad! This is Pippa." I shuffled uncomfortably. I had gone out of my way to avoid these people. "She's the best! This morning Morgan tried to talk to me but he didn't get a chance to before Pippa was there, threatening to hex him if he ever came near me again."

I didn't know whether I was supposed to be proud or ashamed for threatening someone so I just shrugged like it was no big deal. I couldn't read her parents. Standing before the great Harry Potter, I was nervous as hell.

Lily let go of my arm and and turned to me."Thank you for earlier. I just froze and…you know, you understand." She smiled. "It means a lot to me. Not many people would bother."

I was filled with a strange warmth and affection for the girl.

"Anytime."

And the strange thing is, I meant it.

Then I did something that was so unlike me, an action with no thought behind it.

I kissed her forehead.

Oh crap, I shouldn't have done that! She's going to think I like her or something. That were friends. My life is over and my reputation is in tatters.

I am also going to die of the plague or something.

Lily looked at me in pure shock, her fingers trailed up to the spot on her forehead where I had kissed.

She grinned at me.

Then she squealed.

I instantly put my hands to my ear and flinched. "Oh gosh, I think I'm deaf." I muttered as Lily tackled me and wrapped herself around me tightly.

Well, I'm never going to be able to get rid of her now am I?

I stood there still as a statue, I wanted to move my arms but they stayed limply hanging by my hips.

I still couldn't bring myself to hug people back. This would have been okay, if Lily wasn't such a hugger.

I glanced at James who just smirked at me. "You brought this on yourself." He laughed and I glared at him.

Lily still had hadn't let go. This was getting ridiculous now.

"Oh Pippa." She mumbled in my ear. "I was worried you didn't like me."

I wanted to tell her that disliking her was impossible. I didn't want to like her but I couldn't really find anything to hate about her.

"Lily, are you going to let go anytime soon or do I have to take you home with me?"

Lily laughed as she let go. "Sorry Pippa,"

"It's okay."

"Your hugs still suck by the way."

"Baby steps." I said softly, hoping she would get my meaning. One day, I may be able to hug her back but it seemed that I wasn't ready yet. Affection still made tense up. Being touched made my skin crawl a lot of the time. He used to hug me after he lost his temper, pretending he was sorry as I tried to smile through the pain that he had caused. Hugs are ruined for me right now.

Lily nodded before turning back to her parents. "Mum, Dad, I've invited Pippa around for a sleepover in the holidays, I hope that's okay. I've also invited a girl called Cassie too. You'll like her."

Mrs Potter or Ginny as she is otherwise known looked at me warmly. "That's great!" She grinned. She actually seemed happy about a grandchild of a Death Eater entering her home. "You're welcome to come around anytime Pippa." She grabbed my hands and squeezed them for a moment to show that her words were actually genuine.

"Thank you." My voice was faint. "Anyway, I have to go, Mother doesn't really like waiting around. " I rambled. I really don't know why I'm telling them this. "So I have to go, if you ever get bored Lily, just come around the house for a visit. You're connected to the floo network right? Just yell Nott Mansion and you'll be there."

Why the hell was I offering her to visit my house? I am an idiot. It is like my brain isn't connected to my mouth.

Lily's face brightened. "Will do, I'll owl you with the details for the sleepover and of course, I'll see you at the wedding."

"Okay." I turned to Mr and Mrs Potter. "It has been lovely to meet you. I will hopefully see you soon." They can say a lot of things about me but I have good manners when I can be bothered. I took classes on manners. I'm a pro. "Goodbye." I waved to them all before walking off to find my family.


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