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Chapter 1: Chapter One: Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies
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Author's Note: Anything you recognize belongs to JKR; everything else is mine.
Logan: Zachary Quinto (Oh my Potter, he is gorgeous.)
Cassie: Leighton Meester
I don't own their photos!
Chapter 1: Lies Upon Lies Upon Lies
I tried to warn him, I tried to explain to him. I just...never found the perfect time. There were perfect times, really, but I never realized until the time was long gone.
Or perhaps I'm just a bloody coward.
That's probably it. Ravenclaws weren't meant to be brave. We just sat in the library minding our own business. Well, I did. Sort of. When I wasn't off snogging or socializing or something. But those days are long gone! Like, three years long gone! Now I'm engaged—
I'm engaged. Me, Cassie Quillton, pure blood extraordinaire. To Logan North, American Muggle.
At least I wasn't too scared to tell my parents and mates. They were all so thrilled! Which is why I made sure not to tell them when I was meeting the Norths. Or that they're Muggles. Or that they're American. This is a secret that is mine to keep. Or at least reveal later.
Oh, fuck it. I'm a Ravenclaw. I just know this is going to end terribly. So why can't I summon the courage to sit Logan down and tell him my secret? Why do I keep sending letters with half-truths to my friends and family?
All I've got to do is corner Logan, privately, and come out with it. And scribble Logan’s and my love story on a piece of parchment and send it out with my owl. Simple enough. For sure.
What if Logan calls off the engagement? What if he just laughs? What if he thinks I'm mentally unstable? What if he stops loving me?! I would die.
And with my family and friends, they love Muggles, they do. They're not racist (or bloodist?). But they love James Potter, too, my ex-boyfriend. They would use that as an opportunity to get us back together. Honestly, my family, the matchmakers. They love to meddle too much! They would say James and I have more in common than Logan and I. That would suck, and I'd feel terrible.
"Cass," Logan says, shaking me out of my thoughts, "are you ready to go?"
"Um, yes," I say, quickly hiding my wand behind my back.
“Cool," he replies, flashing me that brilliant, white smile of his. It always makes my heart melt. "Cab's waiting outside. Got the tickets? I've got the passports."
I look around our little flat. "Yes, I think we've got it all."
"Awesome," he says, kissing me. Every time we kiss feels like the first. I always feel dizzy and a little high. "Let's go." We grab out bags and head out into the cool September morning. The cab driver is smiling and friendly, and he helps put our bags in the trunk.
"So, King's Cross?" the driver asks, looking at us through his rearview mirror. It scares me some because one eye is green, the other blue.
"Yes, please," I reply.
"All right," he says with a grin. And we're off.
I lean against Logan and he wraps his arm around my waist.
The cabbie smiles. "You two married?" he asks.
"Almost," Logan says, trying to suppress his excitement. He squeezes my arm.
"Ah, young and in love!" the driver exclaims. "When's the date?"
"I keep telling him February fourteenth," I laugh.
"Very nice," he comments.
"See, I told you!" I exclaim, smacking Logan's chest with the back of my hand. "Perfect date. Valentine's Day."
"But I want it to be sooner," he complains.
"You're so adorable," I say, kissing his cheek. "But if we do it now, it'll be too cold!"
"February's cold too," he points out.
"But if your anniversary's Valentine's Day, it's a steal. You only have a big celebration of your love one day a year instead of two," the cabbie says.
Logan ponders on this for a moment. “I see what you’re saying,” he says, “but my thinking was that we’d celebrate our love everyday of the year.”
I smirk. “Did you think of that all by yourself?”
“Of course!” he exclaims. “Do you doubt my romantic abilities?”
“You are a guy, aren’t you?” the cabbie teases. I laugh.
“Of course I am!” he replies.
The driver looks at me through the rearview mirror. “Love, I think you might want to keep your gaydar on with this one.” He winks with his blue eye.
I giggle. “No, I’m pretty sure he’s straight.”
“How about this?” Logan asks. “I give you a good tip, and you stop make gay jokes about me in front of my fiancé?”
“Sure,” the driver replies. “But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop thinking it.” He smiles.
Logan sighs. “Okay, fine,” he says, holding his hands up. “Truth is, I’m not gay, and I heard it from a co-worker. She was complaining about her sex life and said that’s what she wanted. To celebrate her and her husband’s love everyday of the year.”
“A simple ‘I heard it from a co-worker’ would’ve sufficed,” the cabbie jokes. “And…I have a feeling you made that up.”
We wave goodbye to our cab driver, laughing. He beeps his horn twice and drives off.
"We made it with time to spare," Logan says, checking his phone. He pockets it and says, "Let's get our tickets then grab a bite to eat."
"We just ate before we left!" I tell him.
He smiles. "Come on. I'm a growing boy."
I kiss him. "I thought I was marrying a man, not a boy."
He rolls his eyes, and we get in line to buy tickets. As we stand in line, I take in our surroundings. I sneak a peek at the stations, and I spot the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Ah, the memories of Hogwarts. A family walks up to the barrier, two young children pushing carts. There's an owl on one cart and a mewing cat on the other. A third child, younger than the other two, skips around them. The mother chastens her youngest, and the child stops skipping at once and takes her mother's hand. The father stands in front of the barrier, facing the children. He seems to be speaking to the middle child, an innocent-looking boy with big blue eyes. The father than gestures to the barrier, and it finally clicks. How had I not realized this before?
"Oh, Merlin," I whisper to myself. "This isn't good."
"What's that?" Logan asks, taking a step forward in line.
I shake my head. "Nothing. Um...what's today's date?"
He frowns and pulls out his iPhone. "Saturday September first." He looks at me and waves the phone in front of my face. "You sure you don't want me to buy one of these for you? Really, it's no big deal. You can't live in today's society without a cell phone, Cassie."
Too bad I don't live in the society you're thinking of, I think to myself.
"I don't need it," I say. "I work from our flat. All I need is our landline." I smile. Plus, I want to add, I have no idea how to use that. Because I'm a witch. And witches don't have phones. We're quite an archaic society. I didn't know how to use a computer until I met you. And I really don't work from our flat. I just write articles for newspapers, and they give me money. I don't need a job because I'm a fucking pureblood; I have so much money that we could fill a pool with it. But it's not the money you're familiar with, so that is that. And I probably made no sense whatsoever.
"So Saturday September first," I repeat, smiling. "Great."
He looks at me funny. "Yeah." He composes himself and starts tapping away on that iPhone. "Smile!" he exclaims and holds the phone up to our faces. I grin and see myself reflected in the phone. I look good. Wavy brown locks, chocolate brown eyes, slightly tanned skin, and a heart-shaped face. And Logan is as handsome as ever. A shock of thick, dark hair, beautiful brown eyes, strong cheekbones, and thick-rimmed glasses poised perfectly on his nose.
"We look sexy," I laugh.
"Definitely going up on Facebook," he says. The screen changes, and he's on Facebook—a site that I recognize and use. He tags me in the photo and taps his chin thoughtfully. He then speaks as he types. "King's Cross with the almost-wifey. Mom and Dad, this is your future daughter-in-law. Isn't she gorgeous?" He presses the POST button as I exclaim, "Wait!"
He laughs. "Too late, sweetheart," he says, kissing my cheek. He looks at his phone. "Wow, Mom and Dad already liked it."
"That was quick," I laugh.
"Are you excited?" he asks.
I squeeze his hand. "Honestly? No. I'm really nervous."
He laughs and kisses me again. "They'll love you. Trust me. Almost as much as I love you." I hug him tightly and we take another step forward in this never-ending line.
I look around, praying that the witches and wizards here don’t recognize my face. But, of course, I spot one.
And he spots me.
I whip my head around, staring at a spot over Logan’s shoulder. My muscles tense, and I try to act casual. But he’s noticed my discomfort.
You are not Cassiopeia, I chant in my head. Nor Pia or Sopia or Sophie. You are Cassie Quillton, almost Cassie North. You're just a love-struck twenty-one year old girl on her way to meet her in-laws-to-be. Okay. Calm. Oh, crap, are those footsteps? Are those his footsteps? Oh, Rowena, help me! Wait, I’m in a bloody train station. Of course there are bloody footsteps everywhere. It can’t possibly be—
"Pia," he says. I nearly jump. He's right behind me. I try to pretend not to hear, but it's quite hard. I feel myself shaking.
"Cassie," Logan says to me, nodding to the person behind me.
I try to make an "I don't know him" face and shake my head. But I must have done something wrong because he knits his eyebrows together in worry.
"Excuse me," he says protectively, pulling me behind him, "but I think you should—”
Oh shit, I think. Save this situation before something bad happens and everything's ruined! "Al!" I exclaim, turning around to face him. I plaster a big smile on my face.
Logan looks uncomfortable and rather confused and embarrassed. "I'll explain later," I mouth to him.
Liar, I tell myself.
"Hi, Al," I say brightly. We hug. "I haven't seen you in a while! How're things?"
"Great," he says, smiling. "I made Head Boy." He points to the pin on his shirt.
I roll my eyes. "No surprise."
He laughs. "That's true." He turns to my fiancé and smiles, holding out a hand. "Hi. I'm Albus, one of Pia's friends from school."
"Albus," Logan muses, shaking hands. "Interesting name." I let out a sigh of relief; he didn’t ask about where I went to school. Thank Merlin!
"Yes, yes it is," he replies. "I was named after a great man, a very influential man." He stuffs his hands in his pockets, still smiling. He's teasing Logan! Ugh! He's so much like his brother...
Logan's oblivious, naturally, since they just met. "Well, I'm Logan," he says. "Logan North. I'm Cassie's fiancé."
Al's eyebrows shoot up. "Oh, you are?" He looks at me and widens his emerald eyes. "You're Cassie’s fiancé?"
"Yes, he's my fiancé, Al," I say. I see Logan's now shooting me a look, similar to Al's. "Didn't my cousin Alanna tell you?"
He makes a face. "No! I wouldn't dare socialize with her! She's a bitch of a Slytherin!" He then realizes what he's said. He nearly slaps a hand to his mouth but thinks better of it. My mind races to think of a cover. Albus's eyes are everywhere; he's trying to plan his next move.
"Slytherin?" Logan asks. He frowns in confusion.
"It's a sorority!" I blurt out. Al smiles in approval.
"Really? Wow, you Brits have weird sorority names." Logan laughs.
"Yep, we're the crazy-arse Brits," Al says, smiling and rolling his eyes. He checks his watch. "Oh, I have to go." He shakes hands with Logan again and gives me an awkward hug. "Well, it was nice meeting you, Logan North. Good seeing you again, Pia—er, Cassie. I wish you two the best in your relationship."
"Thank you," Logan says.
"Thanks, Al." We hug again. "Give your family my love."
He raises an eyebrow. Even James? his expression asks. I nod. Even James.
"All right," he says. "Will do." He salutes, grinning, and runs off towards the platforms.
"Good kid," Logan says, hugging me to his side.
"The best," I whisper.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two: Slipping from my Fingers
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Author's Note: Again, JKR owns all canon stuff. Everything else (Cassie, Logan, etc.) belongs to me. Thanks for reading! R&R and favorite! :D
James: Andrew Garfield (he's pretty :])
I don't own any of these actors' photos!
Chapter 2: Slipping from my Fingers
May 14, 2009
“OI! Pia!” James raced up the staircase, nearly slipping on the marble steps. There was a smile on his face, as always, but he seemed extra excited. There was a bounce in his step, almost as if he were skipping up the stairs. His glasses kept slipping down his nose, but he didn’t mind. His dark hair was windblown, as if he had just been outside, riding around on his broomstick. I knew otherwise—he had just “fixed” his hair to look “presentable” when he saw me. “Fixing hair” to James was just running his fingers through it; he considered this “presentable,” though his mother and I did not. (My reasoning was that it made all the girls drool over him; he really did look hot that way. Guess I’m a jealous bitch.) But despite our protests, he kept sporting this look. His father said he looked like his late grandfather. To him, it was pretty much his father telling him to disobey his mother and girlfriend.
“Well, good morning to you, too,” my best friend, Liesel Abell, laughed. “I’ll turn around now. Snog as much as you please.”
“I will,” James said, grabbing my wrist as he hopped up and over the last two steps. The force of the jump and his weight knocked me over. I slipped off the landing, and the stairs began to change. I shrieked as I felt my balance failing. “Fuck!” James yelled. He tugged on my arm, and we both tumbled onto the floor, me on top of him. I grinned down at him, and he smirked. “Well, how’s that for an eighteenth birthday?” he laughed. “And it’s not even noon!”
Giggling, I roll off him and stand. I hold out a hand to him and help him up. “I should at least give my saviour a kiss,” I say, raising my eyebrows.
“Oh, Merlin, snog already!” Liesel exclaimed. “Get it over with!” She abruptly turned on her heel so that her back was to us.
James kissed me full of the lips. Every time we kissed felt like the first. I always felt dizzy and a little high. In that moment, I had an epiphany: I was in love with James Potter.
“Hey, Cassie. Cass.” Logan waves his hand in front of my face. I blink and look up at him. He grins. “Okay,” he laughs, “thought I lost you there for a sec. You had this weird, blank expression on your face.”
Yeah, I was thinking about my ex-boyfriend.
The guilt settles in my stomach and makes me feel sick. “I’m fine,” I lie. “I just...zoned out for a sec.”
And thought about how much I love my ex-boyfriend.
Wait, no, NO! Shit! Loved. Loved my ex-boyfriend. As in the past. Yep.
The guilt becomes heavier, weighing me down. If I don’t stop thinking about it, I might just throw up all over Logan’s new shoes. And they’re really nice Eccos. Well, they should be since they cost him nearly £100. I calm down. Yes, this is what I need. Muggle thinking.
He holds up our tickets. “That line was like an eternity,” he laughs. “Finally, we’ve got these. Let’s head inside.”
We walk through the platforms to get to our train. My heart stops every time I notice a magical family walking around the station; I'm surprised I haven't died yet of this stupid guilt—or worse: be spotted.
These families are characterized by many things. What sticks out the most, though, are the animals on the children's carts. Owls in their cages squawk, drawing attention to the family. Toads croak deeply, and cats mew loudly. Another characteristic is the family's discomfort. I saw one mother yielding a wand, then, realizing where she was, quickly stuffing it inside her robes. Which brings me to my final characteristic: clothes. Though the children know how to dress, a few of the pureblooded parents are a bit confused. I have had first-hand experience with this. I recognize the confused look on parents' faces when people stare oddly at their extravagant robes and strange colour choices. You would think after all these years, these purebloods would learn, but some of them are quite stubborn, like my mother.
"Mummy, you look silly," I told my mother as we walked casually through King's Cross so many years ago.
She frowned and shook her head. "Nonsense!" she proclaimed, tossing her dark brown hair over her shoulder. "I know how to dress like a Muggle, mind you. My generation was taught to assimilate!"
"They must not have taught you very well," my younger brother, Jason, muttered.
"You do well to be respectful, boy," Dad scolded.
Jason rolled his eyes. "Dad, why don't you tell Mum how to dress? You're good at 'assimilating.'"
"Because it's my job," he replied. Dad worked high up in the Ministry. He was sort of like an ambassador for the wizarding world. This job was created after You-Know-Who’s downfall so that the Muggle world leaders could be informed in case of an emergency. So because of this experience, he was sporting dark wash jeans, a plain olive t-shirt, a brown leather jacket, and chestnut-coloured leather shoes. "Mum looks perfectly all right," he continued, a twist to his smile. He wasn't telling the truth, and everyone but Mum knew it.
Perhaps it was because she had insisted on wearing these sparkly dark blue robes she had just bought from Madam Maulkin. ("It's just like what those Muggle celebrities wear! And, besides, I paid for it!") Dad eventually gave in; there was no fighting my mother. They were the ultimate Ying-and-Yang couple—she was talkative and stubborn; he was quiet and flexible. She was kind to all; he was sarcastic, with a bit of dark humor in him. She meddled; he went along with his business.
"Mummy doesn't look 'all right,'" Jason said. "You're embarrassing! Look at how everyone stares."
"No, they're staring at Orion," she replied. Orion, Jason’s owl, squawked in protest. "See! He's just too vocal! Like someone else I know..." She winked at him.
Jason rolled his eyes, like any twelve year old would.
We had finally reached the barrier. Jason backed up a little. He frowned at the wall and ran his fingers through his brown hair. His chocolate-coloured eyes flickered to me for a second before he ran full speed at the platform barrier and disappeared into it.
"What is she wearing?" Logan asks, nodding to a girl with long blonde hair flowing down her back. She sports an assortment of necklaces and bracelets. She has on orange slacks, a rainbow-coloured jacket over a long, flowy scarlet top, and Converses with a cherry design on them. Two boys, both with fair hair and bright blue eyes, follow her through the station. She tucks her hair behind one ear, and I notice a radish dangling from her lobe.
I nearly shriek out in surprise. Instead, a small squeak emits from my lips. I bite on my lower lip to calm down. It's Luna Scamander, one of my mother's best friends from school. Shit, shit, shit.
I compose myself. I dyed my hair lighter, I'm wearing different clothes, and I'm concealed by the Muggles around me. She won't recognize or see me.
"That's like hipster to the nth degree," Logan laughs.
Aunt Luna has always been a little off, so I laugh along. But I feel guilty. Again. Ugh, damn you conscience!
"Cassie!" I turn and see Al waving to me from platform nine. His parents are nowhere in sight, but he's got his cart, and he's poised to run at the barrier. Hedwig, his snowy owl, beats his wings against his cage.
"Why does your friend had a bird?" Logan asks. "And he seems to be traveling alone."
"Boarding school," I say quickly. "He goes to a special boarding school...where they study birds...I guess?"
He snorts a little and raises an eyebrow. "Really? That's...interesting. Where?"
"In the mountains somewhere, hidden far away," I say, trying not to laugh.
"Well, that's perfect for a boarding school...about birds, I guess," he replies.
I smile and take his hand. "C'mon. Let's catch our train to the airport."
"I'm hungry," Logan complains as we stand in line for security.
"I think there's a McDonald's here," I suggest. I smirk. "I know how much you Americans like your fast food."
He frowns. "That is a terrible stereotype!" he accuses. He then laughs. "But one hundred percent true."
"Next," the officer says, waving us over. We walk to him and hold out our boarding passes. "IDs, too," he says. "There are signs everywhere to tell you what you need." He frowns disgustedly at us.
"Sorry," Logan says, eyebrows raised. You've got to be kidding me, his face says. We're not stupid. He fishes out his wallet and hands over his ID.
The officer looks at me, but I don't budge. He rolls his eyes and sighs. "You too, Miss. ID, please."
"Um, right," I say. I slowly reach into my purse and dig through my things, trying to find my wallet. I fake having a hard time; the officer groans. "Sorry," I say, my palms and face sweating. Logan's looking at me strangely, and my cheeks burn.
See, the thing is, I faked my age to Logan. I'm twenty-one, but I said I was twenty-five. This makes my new life seem more believable. When we first met, to him, I would've been twenty-two, fresh out of university, like him. In actuality, I was eighteen, fresh out of Hogwarts, unlike him. If I claimed to be eighteen, it wouldn't make sense. Why was I not in University? Why did I have a well-paying full-time job? (At that time, I was working for the Ministry, under my father.) Why was I so prepared for the world? So I lied. But that doesn't mean I lied to the officials who made my ID. According to my ID, I was born May 14, 1991, not 1987.
I hand over my ID with a shaky, sweaty hand. The officer swipes it away from me and checks it three times. He then hands back our documents and says, "Have a good flight."
"Thank you," Logan says stiffly, putting his ID and boarding pass back where they belong.
We walk into the security screening area, and, luckily, it's not too busy. Most people must be coming home, I suppose, because their children have to start school soon. Logan and I take off our shoes and jackets, throwing them into bins. We put our bags on the conveyor belt and watch them disappear into the scanner. I pat myself down to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.
My hand reaches the small of my back to find my wand. Oh, shit.
"What's wrong, babe?" Logan asks as he is told to walk through the scanner. He steps through and collects our things at the end.
My wand is wood. It won't get picked up, I bet. Shit, why did I bring it? Why do I still have it? I mean, I use it when I'm alone so I can do things I'm too lazy to do myself. Magic will be the end of me.
“Nothing,” I say. “Nothing’s wrong.”
“Please step through the metal detector,” the officer at Logan’s end orders gruffly.
Metal detector? I let out a sigh of relief. Thank Merlin! I wipe off the sweat that has been forming on my nose and strut through the detector, head held high.
It starts beeping, the sound ringing annoyingly in my ears. Logan looks at me with wide eyes as a DFT officer drags me over to an area fenced-off with plastic walls.
Author's Note: All JKR's stuff belongs to her, of course. Everything else is mine. R&R and enjoy! :D<3 Thanks everyone for your awesome reviews!
Carter: Eric Bana (LOVE him)
Again, I do not own these actors' photos :)
Chapter 3: Don’t Tell Mum
The DFT officer shoves me inside the room. I look out the plastic windows and see Logan collecting our things, calm and composed. He puts on his shoes, stuffs his new iPad in his beat-up messenger bag, shrugs on his leather jacket, and snaps on his silver watch. He then lays my navy cardigan over his arm, stuffs my Mac into my own carry-on bag, puts the bag over his shoulder, and takes my sandals. Before the officer can go in for a pat down, Logan walks over and demands her attention.
"What's the problem, Officer?" he asks politely.
"The alarm went off," she replies, taking my things from him. "These yours?" she asks, holding them out to me.
"Yes," I reply, feeling very small. My forehead is sweating, and my hands are shaking.
Be calm, I tell myself. Calm. Calm.
She's giving me a pat-down! How the fuck can I stay calm?! She’s going to find my wand! My wand... Why did that thing beep on me?
Confused, I subtly pat myself down. I can’t find anything the metal detector could possibly pick up. I put all my things on the conveyor belt.
"She'll be out in a bit," the officer says. "Don't worry."
Logan peers around her broad figure and raises an eyebrow.
"I'm fine," I mouth to him.
He smiles feebly and mouths, "I love you." I nod and mouth back the same. His eyes flicker to the officer, who glares at him impatiently, and says, "Okay. Cassie, I'll be right here." He cocks his head to some benches at the end of the screening area where other passengers are getting themselves together.
I nod. "Okay," I reply, my voice stronger than I feel.
The officer slams the door in Logan's face. "Okay, what do I do next?" she says to herself. Her black eyes widen, remembering, and she opens the door again—but not before making sure that Logan is far away. She waves over a man who is across the security area. He seems to be talking to another officer, but he notices her urgency and hurries over.
He has thick, dark, wavy hair and brown eyes that are calm and firm. He's not wearing a DFT uniform, but the other officers seem to treat him with respect and politeness. He wears nice, black, pressed trousers, a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a blue and bronze striped tie, and black shoes.
What the bloody hell is Dad doing here?! He should be seeing Jason off for the first day of school. Or, perhaps, he already did?
Look who's talking! You should be seeing him off for his first day of seventh year.
Ugh, today is just not my lucky day. Why does my past decide that today is the day to come haunt me?
Dad enters the small room. I gasp and quickly hang my head low and cover my face with my long hair.
Dyed hair lighter, I tell myself. Skinner from Weight Watchers'. Wearing different clothes. Calm. Calm. Calm.
"What is it, Delilah?" Dad asks. He hasn't noticed me yet. Good.
But...he doesn't recognize his own daughter?
I feel terribly empty inside. It hasn’t really been that long seen we last saw each other. Only two years. But so much can happen in two years...
This is the choice you made, Cassie, I tell myself. You can't just turn back the clock and go back to being the girl you were before. You chose Logan. Not James.
Perhaps if I had chosen James, would things be different?
June 1, 2009
"Have you ever thought about the future?" I asked James as we gazed at the stars from the top of the Astronomy Tower. I snuggled into him, and, wrapping his arms around me tighter, he kissed my cheek.
"Sometimes," he murmured. He shook his head. "No. That's a lie. I've thought about it a lot." He ran his hands through his raven coloured hair. He shook his head again. "When my dad was our age, he was chasing Voldemort and duelled him and sacrificed his life. I just...I don't think I can compete with that. I know I can't compete with that." A light breeze blew by, and I shivered. He draped his cloak over my shoulders.
I wrapped the thin black cloak around myself and breathed in his scent: cologne, leather, and grass. I looked up at him. "James, no one can compete with what your father, your uncle, and your aunt did. They were a once in a lifetime occurrence. Why do you have to compete anyway?"
He shrugged. "I dunno. It's stupid."
I rested my head on his shoulder. "You can tell me anything."
He sighed. "It'll ruin my rep." He smirked, but unlike his usual smiles, this one was half-hearted. Was he really that afraid to tell me what he was thinking? Was it something terrible?
"I won't tell a soul," I whispered. "I promise."
He frowned and looked up at the twinkling stars. He sighed. "My family," he said, still looking at the darkened sky, "they've all done so much for the wizarding world. They've all made an impact in the world we live today. Grandpa James and Grandma Lily defied Voldemort three times and died to save their son. Grandpa Arthur and Grandma Molly were in the Order of the Phoenix and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts. Grandma even killed Bellatrix Lestrange! My entire family fought in that battle. Uncle Fred even gave up his life in that battle. Then Mum—Mum was a fighter. And Dad...Dad...” His voice faltered, and he looked at me embarrassedly. “Well, you know what he did. I just...I want to do my family justice. I want to make them proud of me." He looked down at his hands in his lap and a tear ran down his cheek.
"James," I whispered, caressing his cheek and wiping away the tear. "They are proud of you. Extremely proud. You're the one out of the lot who got to live a normal life in a good world. They probably envy you. You don't have to compete with them. As long as you do your best, you will do your family justice. You don't need to fight or sacrifice something to leave a legacy. You just have to be you. Make your own impact on the world in your own special way."
He smiled. “You always know the right thing to say.” He leaned in and kissed me. When he pulled away, he hugged me tight. "Pia," he whispered in my ear, "I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Those, uh, charmed scanners that you, um, put up," Delilah the Officer stumbles, "they, uh..."
"Beeped on this girl," Dad says impatiently. "Right. I'll take it from here. You may go."
"Um...okay." Flustered, she walks out of the room, shutting the door loudly behind her. It shakes in its weak frame. I realize that I, too, am shaking. A lot. I try to stop, but I can’t.
Dad slowly squats down, his joints creaking. I push more hair in front of my face and hang my head lower.
"Sophie?" he asks quietly. He hesitantly pushes my hair away from my face.
My face exposed, I sigh and close my eyes. When I reopen them, I’m staring into my father’s brown eyes that mirror my own. "Hi, Daddy," I squeak, feeling like a child again.
He runs his fingers through my hair, pushing it back to its natural place. "Darling, what are you doing here?" he asks. He holds out a lock of my hair. "And what did you do to your hair? Last I remember, you had beautiful dark brown locks. Now, they're just brown, and there are these strange lighter streaks here and there." He makes a disgusted face.
"Didn't think you'd recognize me," I say, trying not to laugh.
"How can I not recognize my own daughter?" he asks very seriously.
Because I don't think I would be able to recognize myself.
I shrug. “Well, I dyed my hair, obviously. I also lost some weight.”
He gives me a funny expression. “You did? If anything, you look...bulkier.”
I laugh this time. “Dad, come on. You always told me I had chicken legs when I was little.” I pull out a strand of grey hair from his scalp. He exclaims in protest. I laugh and say, “You look different, too. What did you do to your hair? Last I remember, you had beautiful black locks. Now you’ve got all these grey streaks in your hair.” I make a face and let the strand fall to the ground.
“I’m getting old!” he complains, standing up. He glares at me. “And that hurt.” He scratches his head to make a point.
“Doesn’t everything hurt when you get old?” I tease.
“Touché,” he replies, pulling over a plastic chair and sitting in front of me.
“Dad, you’re only forty-two,” I say, rolling my eyes. “When you were my age, you already had me.”
“And that’s when all Hell broke loose,” he teases, pointing an accusatory finger at me.
I smile then look down at my lap. My fingers toy with the hem of my shirt. Well, this is going better than I thought.
“Sophie,” he says a little uncertainly, “we need to talk.”
I spoke too soon. Dammit.
I look up at him. I almost feel like I’m looking at my reflection, just in male form—an older male form. He worriedly runs his fingers through his black hair, and I subconsciously feel myself doing the same.
"So what are you doing here?" I ask after a moment of awkward silence between us. "This is an odd reunion of sorts. Not that I'm not happy to see you and all..."
"I should be telling you the same," he replies, giving me an accusatory look.
"Dad, I'm twenty-one, I can—"
"It won't kill you to send us an owl once in a while," he snaps, surprising me. It feels like a terrible blow to my stomach.
"Can we not talk about this?" I beg.
"Your mother has been mourning over you, Sophie," he says, frustrated. "She thinks you're ‘lost.’ Whatever that's supposed to mean."
"She's mourning over me? She thinks that?" I whisper, my heart breaking.
“Yes,” he says, not even looking at me. He stuffs his hands in his pockets and looks out of one of the plastic windows, watching people going through the charmed scanners. “She was praying for a miracle this morning when we were on our way to King's Cross,” he says, calming down. “She hoped we would find you there to see Jason off. Dunno why she even bothered…”
"I didn't even know it was September first!" I say. "And I was there. I talked to Albus Potter. I saw Aunt Luna and the boys. I was going to catch a train to get here—"
"Yes, why are you here?" he asks, very flustered.
"Well," I say, swallowing slowly, "why are you?"
Please, please, please, I beg. Let’s not talk about me. Please.
"So many things to discuss," he says, "and not enough time." He sighs. "The Ministry thinks that Dark wizards might are trying to get out of the country."
I would feel relieved, but this information that he’s giving me is troubling. "Why don't they just Apparate or Floo or fly?" I ask.
"They'd be detected by the Ministry," he replies simply. "Muggle air travel is safest and most discreet."
"Why are there even Dark wizards around? I thought Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley got most of them,” I say.
“It’s not that simple,” he says, turning to face me. “Nothing is ever simple.” He stares at me fiercely. Are we still talking about Dark wizards? Because it seems that he isn’t.
His eyes soften as he stares at me. "Sophie, why are you—"
"Excuse me," Logan says, his voice muffled by the plastic wall between us. He raps quickly on the door, which rattles a bit.
Dad raises an eyebrow at me then opens the door. "Yes?" he says.
Godric, Rowena, Helga, and Salazar! This isn't happening! Oh my Merlin! Dammit. Dammit. Dammit. Please don't introduce yourselves. Logan, please go away. Dad, please go home. What I really crave right now is to be alone and drown in my guilt and lies and stupidity.
I am a stupid Ravenclaw. I am a living, breathing paradox.
"Hi," Logan says curtly, eyes flickering to me every so often. "You're holding my fiancée in custody, and I would like to know what's going on. I believe I have a right to."
"Well," Dad says, much less civil, "I don't know what 'rights' you have in America, but here, I'm in charge and I may keep your fiancée here as long as I please."
Logan checks his phone, gritting his teeth. "I'm sorry, sir," he says, getting angry now, "but we have a flight to catch in less than an hour."
Dad glares at me as he says, "I just need to speak to her a little while more before you go. I promise not to make you miss your flight."
"That's all I ask," Logan says tersely. He swiftly turns on his heel and walks back to where he had been waiting.
Dad nearly slams the door, but then he remembers it's a fragile thing. "Cassiopeia, who the hell was that?" he demands, trying not to raise his voice. I shrink back into my seat as he glares fiercely at me. "Cassiopeia Penelope Quillton."
Now I know I'm in trouble. I swallow, hard. I feel the tears burning at the edges of my eyes, but I force them down. Dad's never called me by my full name before, nevertheless my real name. He always called me Sophie, and he was the only one graced with that honour. Everyone else from my old life called me Pia. Dad didn't want to call me that, so he took the last three syllables of my name—Sopia. But Sopia was stupid, so we changed it to Sophia, which turned into Sophie. So hearing my full name uttered from my father’s lips is a little alien but extremely nerve-racking.
"That's Logan North," I whisper, hugging my knees to my chest. "That's my fiancé." I bury my face in my knees and let the tears flow.
"That's the boy you're marrying?" he asks icily. "Why am I learning of this now?"
I swallow around the lump in my throat and try to find my voice. I stare at the floor, counting all the little black specks in each white square. "I sent you a letter when we got engaged—"
"I know, I know! But you're getting bloody married and I haven't met the kid! Sophie, what has been going through that head of yours?!"
I look up at him, shaking slightly, and shrug. "I don't know, Dad," I choke out. "I don't know."
He sighs with frustration and runs a hand through his hair. "I just wish I was still a part of your life. It's hard to see your daughter taking her first steps one day and getting married the next." He shakes his head and looks at me sadly. "Sophie, what happened to you?"
After a few moments of heartbreaking silence, I tear my eyes away from his depressing gaze. "Daddy, please," I whisper, "don't tell Mum. You never saw me. You don't know Logan. Please."
He shakes his head. "Love, I can't do—"
"Daddy, please, I'm begging here." I sniffle and rub the tears off my cheeks. Black streaks and bits of glitter appear on my hands. Great, my makeup's running now. Today is so not my day.
"She's been mourning you, Sophie," he says quietly, crouching down and taking my hands in his. "Mourning you."
I feel more tears escape as I nod. "I know, I know. And I'm sorry. I really am, Dad."
"Are you?" he asks, picking a strand of my hair and tucking it behind my ear.
I close my eyes and nod. "Yes, I am."
"Then prove it," he says harshly.
I open my eyes and my lip quivers. "What do you want me to do?"
He brings my hand to his lips and kisses it. "My baby girl is still in there, somewhere," he says. "She knows what to do. She knows the answer."
That "baby girl" is the old me, I think to myself. All she knows is magic.
But what does Cassie know? Muggles? The freedom movements in the Middle East? Online shopping?
What does Dad even want? More letters? For me to come home? Well, none of that is happening in the near future. All of that is in my past. I've had enough of my past today to last me a lifetime.
He squeezes my hand, jolting me out of my thoughts. "I won't tell Mum," he says as he stands. "Now get out."
Author's Note: Hey, everyone! Hope you enjoy this next chapter :) Thanks to all you reviewers out there! You make me smile :D
Again, I don't own the Wizarding World or any of that; JKR owns that stuff. She's a genius. And I don't own the actors' photos either! I just Photoshop them :)
Chapter 4: Daggers
I slam the door to the little plastic room, and it shakes a bit. Ugh, you stupid thing! You stupid room! You’re an idiot, Sophie—er, Cassie! Everything is sucking right now.
Against my better judgement, I turn around and peer through the grimy window. My father, oblivious to my watching, sighs and rubs his face with his hand. He leans against the foldable table in the room and places his elbows on it, taking a few moments to relax. He runs his fingers through his hair and looks at the chair I had been sitting in moments before. His teeth grind and his fist clenches and unclenches. He then straightens up, sighs again, and starts to walk over to the door. I dart out of the way before he can see me and sprint over to Logan.
“Whoa, there, Speedy Gonzales,” Logan teases. He grabs me by my shoulders and takes my things out of my hands. “Here, let me help you.” As he holds out my cardigan, I turn around and shrug it on. “So what happened in there?” he asks as I slip on my sandals.
I shrug, pretending to be fumbling with the straps of my sandals so I don’t have to look him in the eye. “That was the head DTF officer,” I lie. “He just wanted to ask me some questions and let me go.”
“That’s all?” he says. “Hmph. Well, he didn’t have to be such an ass about it.”
I fight the feeling to defend my father. He could be a real arse sometimes, but whenever someone tried to agree with me, I would shoot it down immediately and protect my family’s honor and my father’s reputation. But right here, right now, I can’t. Not in front of my fiancé. He thinks Dad is a jerk of an officer, just like the one we had met at the beginning of security who checked our IDs. So I have to agree. It goes against everything I believe in, but I have to.
“Yeah, well, I roughed him up a bit,” I joke.
Logan chuckles. “No wonder he was being so uncooperative,” he says, rolling his eyes. “You’re an expert at driving people crazy.”
I drive myself crazy most of the time.
I look down as I place my bag over one shoulder. “I’m going to run to the bathroom real quick,” I say.
“Okay,” he replies. As I walk away, he says, “Wait.” He grabs my shoulder and makes me face him. I turn my face away from him. “Hey, stop that,” he chastens. He grabs my cheeks and forces me to look at him. His brows knit together and his chocolate brown eyes fill with worry. I hate looking at people in the eye like this. It’s like they’re staring into my soul; I feel so naked.
“You’ve been crying,” he says. “Your eyes are slightly red and your makeup’s running. Did he make you cry? We should tell someone.” I turn away again, but he grabs me, his grip stronger and more painful this time. “Hey. Look at me. What did he do to you?”
Made me feel like shit about abandoning my family.
Oh, Godric, I abandoned my family. I’m a terrible daughter. Ugh! Fuck, Cassie this isn’t the time to be thinking about this! Logan’s freaking out! Shit, what if he thinks I got raped? Wait, no, that’s stupid. He can’t possibly think that. Ack, his eyes, his eyes! Does he know what I’m thinking? Ah, I can’t look at people in the eye!
“Cassie,” he says, “what did he do?”
“Nothing!” I exclaim. “Da—He didn’t do anything! I was just so scared…I cried a little.”
He frowns. “Are you sure?”
I caress his cheek. “Yes, I’m sure,” I say sweetly. “Would I ever lie to you?”
My conscience needs an off-switch. Yeah, that would be nice.
He puts his hand over my own. “True,” he replies. “Okay, hurry up. We have about,” he checks his phone, “twenty minutes until they start boarding. Go, go, go!”
I laugh and slowly let my fingers slip out of his grasp. “I’ll be back in a flash,” I say with a wink.
“Don’t be gone too long,” he replies with a smile.
“Don’t be creepy,” I joke.
“I have to look out for you,” he says. “It’s my job.”
“You’re an accountant,” I say as I slowly walk away. “That’s your job.”
“I’m your fiancé,” he says. “Protecting you comes with the ring.”
I roll my eyes. “Go buy some food! Now I’m starved!”
He laughs. “Sure thing, sweetheart.” He turns and disappears into a wave of people coming from the security area. I look over to the security guards, and sure enough, my dad is still there, keeping the peace.
I quickly make my way to the nearest bathroom and snag one of the sinks at the end, far away from everyone else. I rip some paper towels out of the dispenser, put soap and water on them, and rub it on the eyeliner runs on my face. I stare at myself in the mirror, and I realize why Logan was freaking out so much. It looks worse than I thought; there are black streaks on my cheeks, my eyes are puffy, and I just look sick.
I feel sick.
You’re just overreacting, I tell myself. Calm down.
I close my eyes for a moment, and my memory immediately transports me to another time.
I hold up my hand, admiring the silver ring with a sparkling diamond set into it that rests upon my ring finger. My heart swells with happiness and love. Everything is perfect.
I feel two arms slip around my waist. “Made by goblins. Cost a fortune, but you’re worth it.” I look behind me, and James smiles that charming grin of his, the expression lighting up his entire face. His brown eyes sparkle. He kisses my cheek. “Now we’re eternal partners in crime.”
I’m staring at the ring again, but this time, there is another hand beneath my own. No one is around, but I can hear chatter from a distance. Everyone must be outside.
I look to my right, and a young woman, who looks so much older than she truly is, stares back at me with disappointment in her blue-green eyes.“You’re so much more than this, a ring, Pia. Don’t you want more for yourself?”
The sun rising, just behind green rolling hills. My own hand reaches out and throws the pink gingham curtains shut. My stomach drops, and I feel like I’m going to throw up. I turn around and face my parents, who are sitting at the kitchen table. Mum’s hair is a mess and she’s just in her pajamas and a pink cotton bathrobe. Dad is half-dressed, wearing sweatpants, a white undershirt, and an opened white button-up shirt. His dark hair, with barely a grey strand to be seen, is fussed from sleep. He takes a sip of his coffee.
“Well,” he says, “you dragged us out of bed and down here. What is it?”
I feel the tears flowing from my eyes.
“Love, what’s wrong?” Mum asks, getting up and wrapping her arms around me.
I shake my head as I cry into her chest. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
She pushes me away. “What?!”
My hands shake as I scribble a note on a small piece of parchment.
Can’t be around here anymore. You just keep pushing and pushing, and I’m just so sick of it. I love you all, I really do, but I think I need to go find myself.
“Pia!” Liesel exclaims in surprise when she opens the door. “What are you—”
“Pia?” her older sister, Kendra, asks as she enters the entrance hall of their apartment. Her strawberry blonde hair is up in a messy bun, and there are dark circles under her blue-green eyes. She bites on her lower lip. “Oh, no. I didn’t mean to… Oh, God, this is my fault…”
“No, Kendra,” I say, “you saved me. So thank you.”
A young man with a big, cocky grin on his face saunters up to a girl at the bar and chats her up quickly, using his hands a lot. She seems incredibly interested in what he has to say. He runs his fingers through his thick dark hair and winks with his sparkling brown eyes. He now has this girl wrapped around his finger, I can tell. She hands him her number, and he walks away with a triumphant look on his face.
“Stop staring at him!” Liesel hisses.
“Why?” I ask, turning to face her. “It’s not like I’m interested anyway. He’s cute, but I’m just too sad to be looking for anyone.” I sigh and stir my iced tea with my straw.
“Okay, good,” she says bitterly, popping a chili fry into her mouth.
I frown and stop stirring. “What? What’s wrong?” I ask her.
“Oh, hey there, Liesel,” the guy says as approaches our table. He flashes me that smile. “Who’s your friend?”
She scoffs and eats another chili fry. “You don’t talk to me for months, and then you see something you want and BOOM, you use me to get to her. Stop using me, Logan. You’re disgusting.”
Mhmm, so that’s how it is, I think to myself. I hold out my hand and smile. “Cassie. Cassie Quillton.”
“Pia—er, Cassie!” Liesel whispers. “What the bloody hell are you doing?!”
Logan glares at her. “Hey, if she wants to be a pleasant young lady, let her be.” He turns back to me and pulls over a chair from a nearby table. “Hi,” he says brightly. He shakes my hand. “I’m Logan North.”
“Will you get out of here?!” Liesel exclaims.
“Ignore her,” he says, leaning in. “She’s just jealous because you’re getting hit on the hottest guy in the room.”
I smirk. “Is that how you win over those girls in America? Because it doesn’t work with us Brits. Now, go along with your business and leave us alone.” In the corner of my eye, I see Liesel stifle a giggle.
He scoffs. “Excuse me?”
“Haven’t you been rejected before?” I ask, batting my eyelashes at him and smiling sweetly.
He grits his teeth. “Yes, I have, actually.”
“He’s lying, Cassie!” Liesel says. “If he’s ever been rejected out of anything, it would be high school.”
“For your information, Lies-el,” he says, sneering at her, “I’m studying abroad at Cambridge, and I’m up for an amazing internship in Seymour Co.’s international finance department after graduation. So I think I win here for most brain cells.”
I wave him off, sharing a smile with Liesel. “Just go away, North.”
“Fine, then,” he says bitterly as he stands. He fixes his rolled-up shirtsleeves, regaining his confidence and composure. He leans in towards me. “You’ve won this round, Cassie,” he whispers into my ear, “but I like a girl with fight. Maybe I’ll see you around?”
“Stop hitting on me,” I tell him exasperatedly. “You’re not getting my number.”
Liesel grins. “Good girl.”
“Wasn’t planning on it,” he replies. “I’ll see you two. Nice to meet you, Cassie. And, um, Liesel, well...” He smirks and waltzes out of the restaurant.
“What a strange kid,” I say.
“The worst,” she replies. “He’s a total arsehole. I swear, Pia, if you ever get with him—even if you’re drunk and it’s an accident—I will disown you.” I laugh, but she shakes her head solemnly. “No, Pia, I’m serious.”
I take the paper towel and, realizing the fresh tears running from my eyes, I quickly mop up my face and splash on some cold water. I take out my makeup bag from my rucksack and reapply my eyeliner, mascara, and eye shadow. I dab foundation under my eyes, trying to make myself look less sad. I force a smile on my face, but it quickly turns into a frown and my lip starts to tremble.
Stop, stop, stop! I scream inside my head. New tears streaming down my face, I angrily crumple up the paper towel and throw it at my reflection. It lightly hits the mirror and bounces off harmlessly, landing in the sink.
“What the fuck?!” I screech.
The loo is silent. Every woman’s eyes are on me. It feels like a million daggers are being thrown at me, and I stand there like an idiot, getting hit over and over and over again.
One dagger for breaking James’s heart.
Another dagger for breaking my parents’ hearts.
One dagger for being a terrible sister.
One dagger for being a bitch to my mum.
Another dagger for making my father lie to her.
One dagger for betraying Liesel.
A final dagger, piercing right through my heart, for lying to Logan.
Logan, the player turned lover. My first love after all the heartbreak that I caused. The one who took me in when Liesel kicked me out. The one who loved me despite all my crying and insanity those first few months. The one who helped me get over James. The one who helped me forget.
My heart sinks lower, and the guilt grows stronger. I want to scream.
Author's Note: Thanks everyone for reading, reviewing, and favoriting! You're all awesome for that! *hugs!* I hope you enjoy this next chapter! Let me know what you think. Do you like the back stories? What do you think about this new side of Logan? Do you even like this chapter? Leave a review!
Again, I do not own these actors' photos. I also don't own those fonts. I don't own/work for Cambridge or Anglia Ruskin. I don't own Coke. I don't own Boeing. I also did not invent the term YOLO, I just really like it. (Do I have to cite that? I dunno...) I don't own the wizarding world either. I also don't own any airports, especially not the Philadelphia International Airport. I'm just a loser with a computer, lots of free time, and a crazy imagination. (I should think about getting a life.)
So enjoy chapter 5! :)
Chapter 5: YOLO and All That
“Mummy, what she say?” a little girl with a dark braid down her back asks her mother.
At that, everything returns to normal. Toilets flush, women wash their hands, and chatter erupts again.
I take the sopping wet paper towel from the sink and throw it away. I quickly wash my hands and stare at my reflection again. Okay. You are okay, I chant in my mind.
“Are you all right?” a woman asks me hesitantly from a few feet away.
I nod, finally finding my composure. “Yes, I’m okay,” I reply coolly. She nods, satisfied with the answer, and leaves the bathroom. I turn back to the mirror and fix my makeup, which has smeared again. New eyeliner. New mascara. New foundation. It’s facade for my face.
I swiftly walk through the crowd of women; luckily, this is a new group, so none of them heard my outburst...I hope. They don’t give me a second look, so I suppose not. I push through the masses, and I start running. I don’t stop until I’ve put enough distance between myself and the loo, the memories, the pain. I stop in the middle of the walkway through the gates to catch my breath.
If I just died, the pain would go away.
Oh, Merlin, SHUT UP. You’re just being ridiculous now. Ridiculous and stupid, that’s what you are. Stop.
I take a last big gulp of air and start walking around, looking for Logan. A little ways down, I find him in line at a sub shop, talking to the person behind the counter.
Three years previous...
I walk into the restaurant Liesel and I had gone to the first night I stayed with her. I take a seat at the bar and pull out my notebook and a pencil, both of which had been supplied by Kendra; quills and parchment would be way bizarre, she told me.
“What can I get you?” the waiter behind the bar asks. He has a friendly smile on his face, surrounded by light brown stubble. His hazel eyes flit between my notebook and me, and he has short, thick light brown hair.
I tap my chin thoughtfully with my pen. “Mmm...a Coke and an Italian sub.”
He smiles and nods. “You got it.” He turns and waves to someone at the door. “Hey, Logan!”
Logan runs his fingers through his dark hair and smiles. This smile seems friendly, sincere—not cocky and superior like the night I met him. I like this look on him better. He seems...pleasant.
“Hey, Rick,” he says, taking the bar stool next to me. “The usual, to-go.” He doesn’t notice or recognize me, which is fine by me. I try to write in my notebook, but I can’t help listening in on their conversation.
“Don’t you have class?” Rick the waiter asks, already scribbling the memorized order down on a notepad.
Logan nods. “That’s what the ‘to-go’ is for, Rick. C’mon!” He smiles teasingly.
Rick laughs and puts our orders in. “This is why you’re the scholarly one.”
Logan chuckles. “Hey, tell my mom that next time she calls?” He rolls his eyes. “She thinks I’m wasting my time here. Could’ve gone to Harvard, she says. Could’ve gone to med school.”
Rick shakes his head. “Making me feel bad about not going to university, eh?” He laughs good-naturedly. “Cambridge is one of the best schools in England. She should be proud.”
Logan shrugs. “Honestly, I just came here for a change of pace.”
Rick winks. “And a change of pace you got, right?”
Logan laughs. “Oh, for sure. These London girls know their way around.” He sighs happily.
Unable to hear anymore, I comment, “You are disgusting.”
The guys look at me as if I’ve materialized right before their eyes. But as quickly as this expression comes upon Logan’s face, it’s gone and replaced by that cocky smile I hate.
He snaps his fingers and points at me. “Chrissie, right?”
I raise my eyebrows. “You’ve got to be kidding me. You are such a tool.”
He frowns. “So that’s not your name?”
“Oh, mate!” Rick laughs, elbowing him in the arm.
“Seriously, ‘forgetting’ my name is just downright rude,” I say, making air quotes with my fingers.
“Fine, then, little Miss Cassie,” he says as if my name puts a bad taste in his mouth. “You think you’re oh-so better than me.”
“Oh, I know I am,” I say with a laugh.
“Burn!” Rick exclaims with a chuckle.
Logan glares at his friend then turns his attention to me, leaning over and looking me in the eye. His brown eyes startle me, and I realize that they’re this really pretty milk chocolate colour. “Why do you hate me so much?”
I turn my face away. “I don’t hate you, I just hate how you act. You’re such a pompous git, and it’s absolutely revolting.”
“So you’re completely turned off by me,” he says.
I glare at him, and he stares back with pretty, innocent eyes. “Is that all you got out of that statement?”
“Okay, slip of the tongue,” he says. “Because I am a pretentious ‘git.’ That how you say it? Git? Sounds like a cowboy saying ‘get.’” He laughs.”Git. Get. Git. Get.”
I want to smile so bad because he’s right. It does kind of sound like a cowboy. Plus, his British and Western accents are quite humorous.
“Aha! I’ve made a breakthrough!” he exclaims, noticing my struggle not to smile. He flashes his sincere smile at me. “How about we start over, okay? I can be pleasant if I want to.” He holds out his hand. “Friends?”
I frown. “I don’t think Liesel would like it.”
He rolls his eyes. “I’m not going to fuck you. I’m just asking you to be my friend. It won’t kill her. Don’t even know what she’s so wound up about anyway.”
I groan. “You’re quite oblivious, do you know that?”
“She thought you were in love with her!” I say. “The night you two first met, like, a couple months ago, it was love at first sight for her. She thought you really liked her, and you’d shag her, eventually, you know? Liesel’s a firm believer in the five date rule. Anyway, you didn’t. You two dated for two months! After every date, you just brought her up to your room, snogged with her a little, then sent her on her way. I mean, who does that?!”
“A guy who doesn’t want to hurt a girl, maybe?” he says, narrowing his eyes at me.
“Are you stupid? You totally hurt her!”
“But at least I didn’t take away something that means a lot to her.” He frowns at me. “I’m not a man whore, you know.” I stare at him, speechless. He smirks as Rick slides my Coke and sandwich onto the table. “When you speak, are you always so thorough at getting your point across?” he teases. He reaches over and steals a fry. “I’m not what she says I am. I don’t screw people over. That’s not me. I’m just here to have a little fun. YOLO and all that. At this point, I’m not settling down.”
I raise an eyebrow. “YOLO?”
“You Only Live Once,” Logan says, taking another fry. “You never heard of the term?”
I shake my head and use a Muggle phrase I’ve heard Liesel say a couple times: “I live under a rock. Sorry.”
He laughs. “Well, as your friend, I think I should change that. I also think you should give me part of your sandwich.”
I giggle and break off a fourth of the sub. “Here,” I say, holding it out to him.
He shakes his head. “No, I was just kidding!” But I can see his mouth slightly watering. Ugh, boys are such pigs.
“Just take it,” I laugh. “I don’t have a large stomach.”
He sizes me up and winks. “I can tell.” He laughs and takes the sandwich. “I’m just kidding, of course. And thanks.”
I grin. “What’re friends for?”
He takes a bite. “Mmm, I luff Ithalian suvs,” he says, his mouth full of food. I make a face, and he swallows. “They’re my favorite sandwich.”
“Me too!” I say. “Hmm...perhaps you aren’t so bad after all.”
He grins. “Told you so.” He points at my notebook. “Studying?”
“Um...yes,” I reply hesitantly. I don’t want to tell him it’s full of my lame poetry.
“Haven’t seen you around school,” he says. “Where do you go?”
Oh, shit! I don’t know any schools! I tell myself frantically. I can’t say Cambridge. That’s where he goes. Uh... Um... Oh, where’d Kendra go? Shit, she didn’t because of the baby! Um...
“Anglia Ruskin,” I reply quickly, remembering Liesel telling me about it when I first arrived.
“Yeah, obviously,” he says with a laugh. “Silly me. There are only two universities around here. Well, what are you majoring in?”
“Literature,” I blurt out.
He grins. “Very cool. Math’s my thing. Written anything worthwhile?”
I think about the poetry in the notebook. “Not really.”
“Practice makes perfect, they say,” he replies. “I bet you’re just being hard on yourself, though.”
“Yeah, probably,” I say. I smile. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” he says with a grin. Rick places a brown paper bag on the bar, and he takes it. “Well, I’ll see you around, Cassie. Um...can I have your number?” He runs his fingers through his hair and says under his breath, “Damn, can’t remember the last time I said that.”
“Uh, sure,” I say. I go to rip a piece of paper from the notebook, but Logan stops me and hands me his phone.
“Here,” he laughs, “I think this’ll be easier.”
I laugh weakly and take the phone, which feels odd and foreign in my hands. “Um.”
He frowns. “You weren’t kidding when you said you lived under a rock.” He takes the phone back, slides up the front, and presses some buttons very quickly. If I didn’t know any better, I would say that it’s magic.
“What’s your number?” he asks.
I rack my brain, trying to remember Liesel’s landline number. She and Kendra don’t use it much; they’re always on their cell phones. “Seven, one, four, three, two, two, one.”
Logan types this in as quickly as I say it. “All right, cool. I’ll hit you up later.” He smiles and leaves the restaurant.
I walk over to the sub shop and take Logan’s hand. He turns and smiles at me. “Here you go,” he says, handing me a plastic bag. Inside the bag is a large sub neatly wrapped in white paper and a soda bottle. He grins. “A Coke and an Italian sub, your favorite. If I remember correctly, this is exactly what you got the second time we met.”
“Looks like your memory serves you well,” I reply, planting a kiss on his cheek. “Thanks.”
“Here’s your other Italian sub, sir,” the person behind the counter says, handing Logan a bag similar to mine. “That’ll be ten pounds.”
Logan takes the bag with a smile and puts down the money. “Thanks very much,” he says, taking the receipt. We walk away, hand-in-hand. “So, uh, what gate is it? I totally forgot.”
We stop and I dig the boarding pass out of my pocket. “Gate...twenty-three.”
“Oh, right here, then,” he says, pointing to the sign above our heads. We laugh and walk into the waiting area on our right. There are too many people and not enough seats. I spot three kids sharing one seat; they’re all complaining loudly to their mother and daring to fight each other for the chair. Luckily, nothing happens between the three. Logan and I end up sitting against the window, facing the waiting area. He turns around and taps the glass, pointing at the plane connected to our gate. “See that? That’s a Boeing 777.”
“Your mum works for Boeing, right?” I say. He nods. “Makes sense,” I continue. “You’re always pointing out planes and helicopters and telling me their bloody names.”
He laughs. “I thought you said that was cool.”
I roll my eyes. “Whatever makes you sleep at night.”
“You know what could get me to sleep at night—”
I groan. “We’re not having sex yet! How many times do I have to bleeding tell you? I want to wait until our honeymoon.” I smile and brush my lips against his. “It’ll be extra special.”
He sighs. “Yeah, yeah, ‘special.’ Whatever. This better be worth the wait.” He frowns and crosses his arms.
I laugh. “You’ll get what you’ll get.”
“C’mon, can’t we just do it?” he asks. “YOLO and all that. We could die on this plane, and you’ll still be a virgin.”
Um, about that...
I push the thought away.
“You want to right here, right now?” I ask him, horrified. “What about the children?!”
He tries not to laugh. “Taken out of context!” he proclaims. I giggle and lean on his shoulder. He sighs and slumps down against the window. “Fine. I’ll wait.”
I smooth his dark hair. “Aww, that’s a good boy.” He scowls.
The gate attendant clears her throat and taps on the microphone. A loud squeal goes through the gate area, and everyone screams and covers their ears. She seems unaffected by this as she says, “Attention passengers! We’ll now be boarding gate twenty-three, with full service to Philadelphia International Airport.”
Author's Note: Hey, guys! Sorry I haven't updated in a while! I've been trying to work and rework this chapter; I'm still not 100% pleased with it, but if you have any helpful CC to make this better, by all means, send them to me! Oh, and thanks so much for all your sweet reviews :) You guys are amazing!<3
I do not own the song "Some Nights." That song was written and sung by Fun. (Amazing band, check them out!) I do not own the song "Fine by Me," which was sung by Andy Grammer. I also don't own Apple or iPhone or Siri. I don't own anything, period.
Chapter 6: Sleeping Pills
I’ve never been a flyer. My uncle Lucas, who played for Puddlemere United, bought me my first broom when I was five. I got on it, and it slipped out from under me. Luckily, Uncle Lucas was right beside me and caught me before I hit the wood floor. He convinced me to get on again, so I did. I zipped around the house—only a couple metres above the ground and at five kilometres per hour—and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Dad stopped the broom with magic, and I slipped off and vomited all over the floor. Mum then scooped me up and put me down in bed. I complained that my head was spinning and my stomach felt weird. She kept a bowl by my bed just in case I would throw up again. I did—twice. When I finally arrived at Hogwarts, Mum and Dad had to send a letter to Professor Price, the flying instructor and Quidditch coach, telling him that I had flight sickness. Price didn’t listen, thought it was a load of BS. Mum even came to school, begging him to listen. But my first flying lesson came around, and he made sure to put me in the spotlight. I cried and cried, but he forced me on the broom. I didn’t know what else to do, so I wiped my tears and got on the broom. I instantly started zipping around the grounds, hanging onto the stick for dear life. I felt like I was on a crazy centaur that wanted to buck me off. Price cheered me on from below, which just made it worse. Fortunately, Mum was at school with Professor McGonagall, begging her to talk to Professor Price. They walked outside, so McGonagall could talk to Price, and saw me flying around. McGonagall immediately scolded Price, while he embarrassedly cast Immobulus on me and let me down. I passed out at once. When Logan booked our trip, I knew we were going to get on a plane, but I had told him I’ve never flown before. This isn’t a total lie; the flying he thought about was on an airplane. With his extensive knowledge of planes, he had somehow convinced me to get on this one. But as I sit down in this plastic cushioned airplane chair, I feel the bile rise in my throat.
“I feel sick,” I whisper to Logan.
“There’s a higher chance of you dying on your way to the airport than on the plane itself,” he replies. “I’ve flown tons of times. I think my mom even helped with the design of this thing. It’s safe.” He squeezes my hand and smiles. “You’re gonna be okay.”
I frown. “That dying on the way to the airport thing...is that for real?”
He looks at a spot above my head. “Um...”
I groan and settle down into my ugly blue chair. It feels hard and uncomfortable. “Lovely.”
“Hey, here’s a fun fact,” he says, trying to distract me from my negative thoughts. “Did you know that penguin poop can be seen from space?” He takes a peek at his iPhone, which is on his lap. “And hippo milk is pink.”
I laugh, though I’m not really sure what a penguin or a hippo is. I think I caught the last five minutes of a penguin documentary once. Oh, or maybe that was on monkeys? Yeah, I really don’t know.
“Did Siri tell you that?” I joke.
He frowns and scoffs. “Uh, no. Funfactz.com did.”
I nod, smiling to myself. “Oh. Oh, okay. Because that makes you seem like such a brain.”
“I try, sweetheart, I really do,” he says with a grin.
A flight attendant walks past and shuts all the overhead compartments. She and another attendant take out some items out of a smaller overhead compartment. Flight attendant #1, a slim brunette, stands in the middle of the plane, while flight attendant #2, a buxom blonde, stands in the front.
“This aircraft is equipped with several safety features,” a cool female voice says from above.
I turn to Logan. “I thought you said this thing was safe.”
He frowns and plugs his ear buds into the armrest. “Well, of course it’s not one hundred percent safe. There’s always risk. Like nine-eleven.”
“Nine-eleven? When the terrorists crashed a plane into the Twin Towers?” he says. He waves it away. “Ah, American thing.”
I turn back to the flight attendants, feeling even sicker. The air smells sour, and my head aches like a bitch. I try to focus as the cool female voice from above explains how to use the “safety features” while the flight attendants mime the actions. Grab the bright yellow life vest and pull on tag or blow through tube to inflate. Pull down cup-looking thing from the ceiling, wrap it around my face, and breathe normally. Follow the lights to the exits. There are so many things to remember, my head spins. Once the attendants finish their demonstration, they leave and it’s almost time to take off.
“You look like you’re going to vomit,” Logan comments as he sends a text to his parents.
I frown and swallow the bile rising in my throat. “I feel like I am.” I sniff the air again and nearly gag. My eyes water. “Is it just me or does it smell like shit in here?” My face begins to sweat, and I wipe the perspiration off my nose.
He takes out a pack of gum from his pocket and offers me a piece.
“How is this supposed to help?” I ask, but I pop one in my mouth anyway.
“When the cabin pressure changes, the gum will help your ears pop,” he explains. “Trust me, the pressure on your ears hurts like a bitch.”
“I mean,” I say, feeling the mint burn my tongue (in a good way), “how does this help my flight sickness?”
“I don’t know,” he says. “I just like gum.” He grins. “I got five detentions for gum chewing in high school. It was total bull crap.”
“That’s because you went to some fancy-shmancy Catholic school where they enforce all the rules and treat you all like Devil spawn,” I tease.
“That is...slightly true,” he says with a frown. “But, looking back, I kinda liked it there, I think.” He furrows his eyebrows in thought. “I don’t know. It’s kind of a blur. I think that concussion senior year knocked all the memories out of me.”
“You had a concussion senior year?” I ask, my jaw dropping. “You never told me this. And I know, like, your whole life story.”
He laughs and nods. “Oh, yeah. It was awful. I got rear-ended by a classmate at an intersection, and I got whiplash and a two week hospital stay—the whole shebang.”
I peer over his shoulder, and outside the window, the world is on a tilt. I feel nauseous. He notices my staring and slams the window cover shut.
“No peeking,” he snaps.
I cross my arms. “Are you trying to distract me?”
“Yes, and it was working well so far,” he replies.
I sigh and roll my eyes. I lean back into my seat, feeling sick. Everything seems to be vibrating, which does not help at all. I look to my left, and I watch the plane climb higher and higher into the clear, bright blue sky out of our neighbour’s window.
Logan taps me on the shoulder, startling me out of my sick trance. “Hey,” he says as I turn around to face him. “Stop looking. Your flight sickness is worse than I thought.”
“Well, we can’t exactly drive to America,” I say. I lean my head on his shoulder, and he wraps his arm around me. “It’s okay,” I say. “I’ll be okay, I think.” I close my eyes and try to clear my head.
Suddenly, the terrible memories from the bathroom fill my mind. I easily push them away with my flying fear. This flight sickness seems to keep me rooted in reality. This is good because then I don’t have to think about today’s reminiscing. This is bad because I feel so, so, so sick. When the flight attendant offers a drink and a snack, I decline. Just looking at those salty peanuts makes the bile rise to my mouth and my eyes water from sickness. Logan tries to think of ways to help: listening to music on XM radio (that’s what was in the armrest), playing games on his iPad, and talking. Nothing works, though.
“Sleep,” he says finally, snapping his fingers. “That’ll help.”
I shake my head. “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m not tired.”
“No,” he says, leaning down and rummaging through his bag, “I’ve got something that’ll help.”
“Ooh, wine?” I suggest with a grin.
He looks up at me, an eyebrow raised. “I thought you were too sick to eat or drink.”
“Ah, but I’m always up for a nice glass of red wine,” I reply.
He shakes his head and continues searching. “Well, sorry, babe, but I didn’t check out the Duty-Free. And I’m not spending ten pounds or whatever on some shitty airplane wine. Ah, here it is!” He pulls out a little medicine bottle and a water bottle. He smiles and shakes the medicine. “Sleeping pills.”
“Brilliant!” I exclaim.
He smirks as he shakes a pill out onto his hand. “I know I’m a genius,” he says, holding out the pill. “Now, tell me more good things about myself.” He winks.
He drops the pill into my hand as I say, “Well, you’re incredibly handsome. You’re also a fabulous artist. You can play the piano rather well, which is always fun at parties.” We both roll our eyes and laugh. He hands me the water bottle, and I unscrew the cap. “Oh, and you’re a pompous git.” I drop the pill on my tongue and take a swig of water, feeling the pill flow through my throat. I grin.
“You think you’re oh-so funny,” he scoffs, taking back the water and putting it in his bag.
“I think I’m hilarious,” I reply with a smile. “Now...why aren’t I sleepy yet?”
“Be patient!” he says. “These things take time.”
“A little too long, if you ask me,” I complain.
“Well, I didn’t ask,” he teases, “and you swallowed it how long ago?” He taps his chin thoughtfully and pretends to be doing tough calculations with his fingers. “Give me a moment. I’m a math genius here. I’d say it’s been, hmm... Carry the one, multiply by the reciprocal, then take the square root... It’s been less than a minute.”
I roll my eyes. “I’m assuming that was rocket science, eh?”
He nods, a grin on his face. “Oh, yes. You have to take into account time and space and variables... Very complex stuff we’re dealing with here.”
I elbow him in the ribs. “Oh, shut up.”
He wraps his arm around me again and kisses my forehead. “I will never shut up,” he whispers in my ear, his breath tickling it.
“Eww, I think you spitted in my ear!” I whine.
He laughs. “I think the past tense of spit is ‘spat.’”
“This is stupid,” I say with finality. I lean against his shoulder, my head fitting perfectly in the base of his neck.
“We’re both so terribly stubborn, aren’t we?” he says. I’m not sure if he’s teasing or not. With Logan, he’s a perfect balance of serious and silly; sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference.
“Perhaps,” I reply. “Maybe that’s why we should get married. We’ll get to be one of those annoying couples that fight all the time over stupid things. I’ve seen them in those chick flicks that you hate so much.”
“Chick flicks are shit, end of story,” he says. “And I thought we were already that type of couple.”
I laugh. “Yes, we are.”
We’re silent, merely enjoying each other’s company (though there are others on the plane, we just ignore them). After a while, Logan puts his earbud into my ear again and an energetic march plays. I recognize it—it’s “Some Nights” by Fun. From what I understand, it’s a song about the singer’s mind. There are two sides of him at war all the time, and he just doesn’t know what to do. Some nights he does one thing, other nights he does the opposite. It pulls at my heart when I realize I can relate. I don’t want to relate.
“Change the song,” I murmur to Logan. “This isn’t helping.”
“Yeah, sure,” he replies. “Putting on a march—not smart.” He chuckles and switches to “Fine by Me.”
Oh, Merlin, Logan, you’re killing me! But this song is calmer, and my eyes finally feel heavy as I bury my face into Logan’s shoulder. I feel his fingers smoothing my hair as I slowly drift away...
“No!” I scream, blinking back tears. “No! I don’t want to!”
Professor Price shoves the broom into my hands. “You must,” he snaps. “Do you want to fail this class, Quillton?”
“Please,” I beg, “no!” I hand back the broom, but he shoves it into my hands again. I scream as the rough wood scratches my fingers. I jump back and drop the broom, looking worriedly at my hands. They’re red from the pushing, but I see the dark red blood oozing out of a small cut on my ring finger. I feel nauseous.
Price inspects my hand, holding it up to his face. I try to fight his grip, but he’s too strong. “You’ll be fine,” he says, releasing me. “Now—broom. Go fly.”
“No!” I scream, a tear escaping my eye. I sniffle and wipe it away.
Liesel stumbles as she touches down beside me. She somersaults off the front of the broom, laughing and squealing as she rolls across the grass. Price and I rush over to her side, but she grins and holds up two thumbs up.
Price, laughing, helps Liesel up. “See, Quillton?” he says. “Abell’s enjoying herself.”
“That was so fun!” she giggles. She grabs my wrist and drags me over to where I had dropped my broom. “C’mon, Cassie!”
I pull my wrist out of her grasp. “Actually, people call me Pia,” I say.
She grins. “Oh, that’s cute! I like it! It’s so...unique.” She links her arm through mine and skips over to my broom. “This is so great! I love being a witch!”
“That’s the spirit, Abell!” Price exclaims, catching up with us. He bends down and picks up my broom. “C’mon, Quillton. Just a hover, okay? I need to grade you on something.”
I sigh and wipe away the tears. “Okay.” I grab the broom and mount it. I slowly climb aboard. Once I’m situated, the broom zooms off, and I’m screaming my head off. “GET ME OFF! GET ME OFF!”
“You’re doing great, Quillton!” Price calls, ignoring my screaming. “Come on! Get a feel of the broom! Show it who’s boss, right?”
“HELP!” I shriek, flying through a gaggle of students. They all scream and scatter, and a couple Muggle borns lose control. They go tumbling into the grass, just like Liesel had, but they’re fine.
“I’ll help you!” a boy with messy black hair and round glasses exclaims, chasing after me. “Just...slow down a little!”
“I can’t!” I start crying, the tears streaming down my face.
“I’m James, by the way,” the boy calls. “James Potter.”
“This isn’t really a time for introduct—WHOA!” I shriek as my broom dips and flies back up. I hug the broom, holding on for dear life.
“I’m going to do something stupid,” James says.
“What the bloody hell are you talking about?” I scream.
“I’m jumping on.”
“ARE YOU INSANE? You’ll die!” I snap at him. My broom dips again, and I feel wetness down under. Ugh, today just went from terrible to horrific.
“I’ve done this with my brother at home,” he says. “I mean, we were flying lower, but it should be the same.”
“STOP!” I scream. “You’ll fall!”
“I’m going to jump!” James calls. I turn around for a split second to see him getting prepared to stand on his broom like a surfboard. I dip again, scream, and look away. “Ready?”
“DON’T!” I screech, swerving around one of the school’s turrets.
“Whoa!” James yells, his voice becoming more and more distant. I open my eyes, and I’m staring at the ground. James is flying towards it as McGonagall and my mum emerge from the castle.
“MUM!” I cry, praying to Merlin that she hears me.
“Get her down—NOW!” I hear McGonagall yell.
I walk into the library, playing with the strap of my messenger bag. It’s old, so I like feeling the rough fabric under my fingers. The library is silent and still, with students either perusing the numerous bookshelves or studying at large, round tables. A few sit in a small computer area, the newest addition to the Hogwarts library. It’s mostly the Muggleborns who hang around there because the rest of us aren’t too keen on the Internets and whatever. I guess that’s how my mum feels about wearing Muggle clothes.
“Pia!” Liesel calls, waving at me from a table across the room. The old librarian—we don’t know her name, so we just call her Vecchiaccia, or Chia for short, which Liesel says means “crone” in Italian—shuffles across the room, pushing a cart of books, and shushes Liesel. My best friend shrinks back in her hard, plastic blue chair, which looks extremely painful. Chia shuffles away, and Liesel relaxes. I walk over, and she sits upright, smiling as always.
“Hey,” I say, putting down my bag. “What’s up?”
She shrugs. “Eh, getting shushed at by Chia,” she replies. “Nothing new.”
I giggle quietly as I sit down and pull out a textbook. “Oh, Chia... You must admit, Hogwarts wouldn’t be the same without Chia.”
Liesel scoffs. “You’ve got to be kidding me, Pia.” I smile and look down at my book. She frowns and rolls her eyes. “So freaking studious, geeze.”
“Not really,” I say, flipping the page. My eyes quickly scan the text, and I flip the page again. I repeat this until I’ve perused the entire lesson. I slam the book shut. “Okay, done.”
“What the bloody hell?” Liesel says, making a face. “That took, literally, a minute.”
I tap my forehead. “Photographic memory, remember?” I grin and gather my things. “Well, see you later.”
She grabs my wrist as I stand. “Nooo, wait! Come on, Pia. That can’t be all you’re doing for studying, can it?”
I shrug. “This is what I always do. My photographic and verbal memory are, like, my life savers.”
“Lucky bitch,” she mumbles. She sighs. “So what are you going to do now? Go to the pitch and stare at that hunky James Potter?”
I smack her hand off my wrist. “No!” I snap. “I’ve never done that.”
“Well, you’re going to accomplish some form of stalking, then,” she says with a smirk. “You’re a creep, admit it!” Chia, who is standing a few metres away, shushes her. Liesel blushes and puts a hand over her mouth.
I glare at my friend and whisper angrily, “I am not a creep!”
“In the Muggle world, we have this thing called TV—”
“I know what a bloody TV is, Liese.”
She laughs. “Just checking,” she says with a wink. “Anyway, on these TV shows, the smart ones are always socially awkward and creepy.”
“TV isn’t real life.”
“Hear me out, okay?” she says. “I’m smart too, remember? Not big on studying or working, but I do know what I’m talking about. I understand things almost as easily as you do.”
I smirk and laugh. “Yeah. Almost.”
She rolls her eyes. “As I was saying, the smart ones are socially awkward. Why? Because we’re secretly—or in some cases, obviously,” she raises an eyebrow at me, “vain. We are obsessed with ourselves and our achievements. We don’t know how to play or work with others because we’re so good at patting ourselves on the back for a job well done.”
“Sure,” I say sarcastically. “Okay. Right.”
“Just go with it!” she says angrily. Chia shushes her from across the room, and Liesel blushes embarrassedly. “My point is—”
“You’re calling me vain,” I interrupt. “I get it. Great talk, Liese. Bye!”
She grabs me by the wrist again. “No. I’m saying you’re socially awkward! James is a big-shot Quidditch player. Like the quarterback!”
“The bloody hell’s a quarterback?”
“Oh my Merlin!” Liesel gushes, squeezing my cheeks. Her blue eyes go wide as a smile spreads across her face. “This is totally perfect! You and James! The nerdy girl and the hot-shot football—er, sports star! Ahhhh!”
“Ms. Abell!” Chia scolds, her gray, wrinkled face turning into a frown.
Whoa, she knows our names?
“Sorry, Chi—er, Madame,” Liesel apologizes, her cheeks red. Chia harrumphs and returns to her desk. Liesel looks back at me, the excitement returning to her face. “Go, Pia! Go get your quarterback!”
I raise an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
Liesel closes her eyes and massages her temples. “The spirits of Divination are speaking to me!” she proclaims in an eerie voice. “They tell me that James Potter will fall in love with you and you two will live happily ever after.” She opens her eyes and smiles. “It’ll be so romantic, just like in a chick flick! Go get your quarterback!” She smacks my butt as I walk away.
I shake my head and call to her, “I still don’t know what that is!”
“SH!” Chia scolds.
A hand closes around my mouth, and I’m pulled into a small room off the main hallway. I try to scream and fight, but some part of me tells me to let it be. By the darkness and slight claustrophobia I’m experiencing, I’m guessing we’re in a broom closet. Gross.
“Hey,” James says, his face now illuminated by his wand light. I look around and see shadows of brooms and repair tools on the brick walls. Yep, definitely a broom closet. I turn back to James, staring into his pretty brown eyes. He smiles, and his eyes seem to smile with him. My heart beats faster, my face feeling hot. “I-I was wondering...um, do you have a date to the Yule Ball yet?” he asks.
I want to start shrieking and jumping up and down. They just announced the Yule Ball today, which means...I’m the first girl he’s asked! Bloody brilliant! Liesel was right! We are going to fall in love and live happily ever after! I shake my head, snapping back to reality. “No,” I say, grinning like a dope. “No one’s asked me yet.”
He smiles back, running his fingers through his ever-messy hair. “Well, I was wondering...um, d’you want to go with me?”
“Yes!” I say a little too overly excited. I blush.
He looks relieved. “Brilliant,” he says, grinning at me. We stand there, smiling at each other stupidly...in a broom closet...where we are very, very, very close to each other. We’re so close that I highly doubt there’s any room for a ghost to squeeze in between us.
James brushes a piece of hair out of my face, leans down, and—
“Cassie,” Logan says sleepily, elbowing me in the ribs. “Cass, we’ve landed.”