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Chapter 9 : Letters and Lashing Out
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Disclaimer: I don't own anything that belongs to J.K Rowling.
"Home is where they understand you."
Jayla made sure to eat a super healthy, high energy breakfast the next morning. They had finally let her out of the hospital wing, and she had vowed to herself to never be sent back.
She was about to get up from the breakfast table and head to class when a brown owl, shrieking, dropped a huge package in front of her. Jayla smiled. Letters from home.
When she opened the package, she first found a note from her mother.
Are you remembering to eat healthy meals? I hope so! This package is so huge because your friends here in London bought you a present. I'm not sure if it's an early birthday gift or a late going away one. They also wrote you a ridiculous amount of post. I told them I'd forward it to you. Send me your letters back to them so I can take up my role as your personal postwoman, as always!
Ian called me the other day, and we're going out for dinner tonight. I think he may want to get back together. I'd like to. I miss him... and I'm extra lonely without you, Jayla. Your father's been calling for you. I told him you've already gone to shool, and he sounded disappointed. I don't know if he'll try to get a hold of you again soon.
Joanne would like me to remind you to write in your journal as much as you can. Okay?
There's also a letter from Jasmine in there. When you read it, could you tell me if she mentions where she is? I haven't seen her for weeks. I know, it's Jasmine. She does this a lot. But I'm her mum, and I worry. Just like I worry about you.
I hope you're having a lovely school year. Write me back! I love you!
Jayla sighed and folded her mum's letter back into the envelope. She'd write back later. Moving on to the rest of the package, she spotted a letter from her friend Charlotte. She opened it quickly.
JAYLA! I MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY!
Will you please, please, PLEASE come back...? No, not really. But I do miss you, Jay! Have you opened your present yet? Do you like it? I'll not say what it is in case you haven't looked at it yet. But make sure you do!
Not much is going on round here. Well, I mean, school started. Big woop. There's no new boys in my class. All the same, immature ones we've known since year one!
Any guys at your end? And, oh, hows your dancing going? I found a funny thing about dancers, it's in this envelope too. I think you'll like it.Show it to any guy and they'll be drooling at your feet!
That's all I have for now. Please write back, Jayla! Everyone misses you!
LOVE YOUR FRIEND CHARLOTTE.
Charlotte had drawn lots of hearts, then put a p.s.
P.S...Dance classes started again. Everyone KEEPS asking me where you are, like they forgot you go to a boarding school. I told them you're not coming back so they shoud stop hounding me with questions about wether you'd be in the end of year performance! Although it would be nice if you could be. Keep your feet pointed! Ha ha ha. xo.
Jayla looked again in the envelope and pulled out another piece of paper. At the top, it said 'Reasons to Date a Dancer'. Jayla smiled and read on.
At the Slytherin table, Draco had finished his breakfast and was getting up to leave the great hall when he saw Jayla laughing over something with her friend, Amy Evans. He decided to go over to say hi, and maybe offer to walk her to class.
As he appraoched her table, Amy looked up, saw Draco, and nudged Jayla. Jayla looked up and grinned at him.
"How are you?" he asked, trying to look at the paper she was holding.
"I'm good. And you?"
"Fine. What's that?"
Jayla exchanged a look with Amy and handed the paper to him. "Here, you can see."
Draco started to read. At the top was a title, "Why to Date a Dancer."
This should be good, he thought to himself.
Why to Date a Dancer:
-They know all the positions
-They have perfect technique, good rhythm, and great hip rotation
-They're used to performing in minimal amounts of clothing
-They don't mind getting hot and sweaty
-They're not as delicate and fragile as they look
-They like everything just like their pointe shoes -HARD!
-They keep going no matter how bad it hurts
-They're always wearing tights
-They're always up for new positions
-They can balance themselves on anything
-They can bend over really far
Draco didn't know what to say as he handed the list back to Jayla. She and Amy were laughing again.
"I'll have to keep that in mind, " he finally said.
* * * * *
"when you ask "what's wrong"
and i always answer "nothing" with a frown of my face
you should know better than to believe me"
Friday evening, after classes, Jayla went to take a shower before her detention, now a routine. The Gryffindor common room was almost empty, since it was nice outside and everyone was taking advantage of it. But as Jayla walked up the stairs to the girls dormitories, she suddenly heard a quiet argument going on, from a hidden corner of the room. She stopped and listened.
"I don't know where you heard that, but you can't tell anyone!" A female voice hissed urgently.
"So it's true?" A male voice, not bothering to whisper.
"I can't say..."
"It's true," the male concluded.
"You can't tell anyone! I'm serious!" The female sounded teary and frustrated. She had stopped whispering.
Jayla wondered what they were talking about. Some kind of secret the girl had, it sounded like...
"No one? Not even Ha - " The male voice started, only to be interrupted by the female.
"No! No one! Not one person, Ronald!"
Jayla's heart skipped a beat. Ronald? As in Ron Weasley? But the only person who ever called him Ronald was....Hermione.
Hermione? What kind of secret could she have? That she got more than one thing wrong on a test? Jayla shook her head and continued up to the dormitories, not bothering to listen to the rest of Ron and Hermione's conversation.
In the shower a few moments later, Jayla realized something. Something big. Hermione did have a secret...Jayla's. She held Jayla's secret. Jayla began to panic. Ron knew about her..he must. That's why Hermione couldn't say if he was right....couldn't tell him if it was true...told him not to tell anyone....
And her journal! The person who read her journal must have let it slip! Dear god, coud things be any worse? That must have been what had happened...what else could it be? It made too much sense. Jayla decided she would have to ask Hermione.
After drying her hair, it was almost eight, so she headed over to Dumbledore's office. She got to the heavy oak door and knocked. When the headmaster entered, he looked surprised.
"Miss Malloy. It's still a quarter to eight...you don't have to be here yet."
"It's okay. Can I start early? I have nothing else to do." Jayla said.
Dumbledore smiled at her kindly. "Of course. Come in."
He led her into his office and to the room with all the file folders. After four sessions, Jayla and Draco had gotten a considerable amount done. But the office still looked like a dump. Dumbledore closed the door behind Jayla, leaving her to work by herself.
Being in that office alone made Jayla feel like she was in a mental institution. The bare grey walls, the messiness, the way she suddenly felt sick. She couldn't stop thinking about her journal. Who had read it, who else knew about it, and how fast would it spread? She tried to get her mind off of it and think of something nice.
Draco. He had asked her to Hogsmeade...he probably liked her ... she liked him ... then again, as son as he got to know her, she knew he'd see how messed up she was. And she knew it wouldn't be pretty.
Suppose he didn't care. What about his parents? She knew they were pureblood, rich, and quite snobby. Her family was all muggles, and they lived in an apartment downtown. Draco's father used to be a deatheater, so he obviously hated muggleborns. Jayla felt her eyes tear up and once again, she wished she could die.
She felt like she was going to be sick. Maybe she should leave Hogwarts and get into therapy, where she belonged. She felt hot tears well up in her eyes and was considering leaveing when she heard the door behind her suddenly open.
Jayla whipped around, frantically wiping her eyes. Draco was there. "Oh, hey." She forced herself to smile.
"Woah.... what happened?" She had obviously just been crying.
"Nothing, I'm fine, " she lied.
"Dumbledore said you got here early."
"What? Oh, yeah." Jayla didn't feel like talking. She picked up a wad of papers and began shoving them in the proper folders.
Draco stared at Jayla. Who was this distressed looking girl giving him the cold shoulder and acting so angry? Certainly not the same girl who had taught him to pirouette oh-so-gracefully in the school kitchens. He sighed and decided to take the hint, though. She must have just been in a bad mood. He began to sort through papers, like Jayla. Starting with MacMillan, Ernie.
After about an hour of awkward silence, he heard Jayla sniff. What was wrong with that girl? He put down the papers he was holding and went up to her.
"Er...are you sure you're okay?"
Jayla didn't say anything, just shook her head.
Draco didn't know what to do. He stood there, stupidly, wanting to make her feel better but not knowing how.
Jayla turned around. Her eyes were red and watery. "God, I'm sorry. I don't even know why I'm crying..."
Draco frowned. "Are you sure? You can tell me, Jayla."
Jayla breathed in. A long, shuddering breath. "I'm just...dealing with lots of stuff....I'm fine."
What did he want her to say? Oh, yeah, lets see.....I have an eating disorder; people have found out; I could be sent away from school back to my family (which is fucked up, by the way), I could have to go to some sort of psycho hospital; I'm a muggleborn; I like you; someone read my journal, and did I mention that I recently passed out in front of, oh, forty people or so? So I'm fine and dandy, really.
Draco stared at her. "You're lying. You don't have to talk about your problems with me, but you should at least admit if you have some."
Jayla's eyes widened. Then narrowed. Why did he even care? Why was he pestering her so much? "Fine." She hissed. "Fine....You want to know if I have problems? Well I do. I have a lot of fucking problems. Okay?"
Draco was startled to hear her talk so viciously. "Okay..."
Silence fell upon them once again. Draco wanted to yell out in frusration - he wanted to know why she was so angry, why she was acting so strange...
Jayla stayed silent, and so did he. For ten minutes....half an hour....an hour. Neither of them wanted to be the first to speak, so they kept their mouths shut and their eyes away from each other.
Dumbledore opened the door of the office. "It is ten o'clock. You two may leave now. I will see you tomorrow."
Relieved, Draco hurried out of the room. Jayla wasn't far behind him. He walked down the corridor towards the Slytherin dormitories, aware of the person walking behind him. He could hear Jayla's footsteps, echoing his. Finally, he came to the corner where he would turn off, and she would continue to the Gryffindor common room. He turned, and snuck a look at Jayla out of the corner of his eye. She looked so miserable, so depressed. He wanted to know what was wrong with her so badly. he stopped suddenly, and she kept walking.
Watching her walk off, just like that, was awful. They were the only two people in the hallway. It was dark, and she was now so far down the corridor he could barely se her. He didn't have time to think abuot what he was doing, and yelled out.
She jumped, and turned around. She stared at him.
He walked up to her, and it was the longest walk of his life. Jayla stared up at him, her eyes unblinking. A tear ran down her cheek and she sniffled. "What is it?" she whispered. "I'm not mad at you, Draco ... I'll see you at Hogwarts tomorrow.... I really need sleep." The truth was, she wanted Draco to leave so she could go down to the kitchens, eat until she was bursting, then make a little trip to the bathroom.
Draco shook his head. "I know you won't tell me what's wrong, but... Do you think I'll ever be able to get to know you better? I really want to ... "
He was leaning close to her and Jayla knew what was coming. She tilted her face up to his, and he put a hand on the back of her head. Just when she thought their lips would meet, Draco gently pushed her head down and kissed her forehead. Then he pulled away and smirked.
"What was that?" Jayla asked. The smallest traces of a smile were beginning to form across her lips.
"That's to make sure you won't stand me up tomorrow, " Draco joked.
Jayla pouted. "But my lips were all ready, " she said , laughing.
Draco nodded. He knew. And it was all that he could do to resist pushing her up against the wall and kissing her like there was no tomorrow. "See you tomorrow, doll - er - Jayla, " he whispered in her ear.
* * * * *
"The footsteps that were next to me have gone their separate ways.
I've seen enough now, to know;
That beautiful things
Don't always stay that way."
Hermione rubbed her temples in frustration. She had been trying to write her potions paper for an hour - but she just couldn't concentrate. She had been very stressed ever since Jayla had passed out. Not only was she worried about her, but she was worried about her and Draco.
They obviously had something going on...and Hermione couldn't stop beating herself up about not telling Draco. It would have been so easy just to say "Jayla has an eating disorder." But nooo, Harry had to come ruin it! Not that she didn't appreciate him worrying about her, but, well, he never seemed to do it at the right time, did he? And now Ron had found out. She'd kill him if he told anyone.
She groaned in frustration, and ran her hands through her hair distractedly. There wasn't even anyone in the common rooms to talk to - everyone was in bed.
All of a sudden, the portait hole burst open and in waltzed Jayla.
"Hi, Hermione, " she said cheerfully, as she pirouetted around the room.
She stopped suddenly at Hermione's table and collapsed into a chair, grinning.
"Whatcha up to?" She asked brightly.
This didn't seem to register in Jayla's head. "I'm not tired at all, what about you?"
"Well I - "
"Oh my god, guess who I'm going to Hogsmeade with tomorrow?"
"Probably Dra - "
"Draco! Draco Malfoy!"
Hermione scowled. She hated being interrupted. "Er, Jayla - "
"I was sooo surprised, I mean, Amy said he liked me but I never thought - "
Jayla's mouth clamped shut and her eyes widened. She looked like a deer caught under headlights. "What?"
Hermione couldn't help notice the small mascara smudge and the tear stain under Jayla's eye. she had been crying. "Jayla, you aren't going to get too caught up, are you? I mean, he is Draco Malfoy." Hermione dipped her quill in ink and began to start another paragraph.
"What do you mean?"
Hermione sighed. "Well...it's just...he has a tendancy to....uh...use people? Say cruel things? Torture innocent people?"
Jayla snorted. "Torture innocent people? Who is he, you know who? His father in the old death eating days?"
"His father still is a death eater, Jayla. He was sent to Azkaban last summer, it was all over the papers. Especially because he worked in the ministry. Didn't Draco ever tell you that?"
Jayla's jaw dropped. "Draco probably thought I already knew. Jesus..."
"Yeah." Hermione continued to write her essay while Jayla stayed silent. After a moment, though, she spoke up.
"If you like him though, it's okay.... I just mean to warn you. So you won't be too hurt if anything happens, you know? I mean, he's dumped so many other girls, you know that, don't you? And, well, he...he's a pureblood, Jayla... he's a Slytherin... "
"So what? So, maybe he's a pureblood. Maybe he's in Slytherin. But he's REALLY nice to me, Hermione, which is a lot more than I can say for you!" Jayla stood up. She was seething. Was Hermione trying to make her cry?
"I only meant - "
"Don't talk to me!" Jayla stormed away and started up the stairs to their dormitory. Before she went in, she turned around. "Just because Ron decided to snog Lavender instead of you doesn't mean you have the right to try to ruin the only thing that's making me happy right now!"
"What? You think I'm jealous or something? Ron can snog whoever he wants, and I don't care. Nice way to show your appreciation for me trying to be a good friend, Jayla!"
A door slammed in response.
A/N: Leave me a review please!
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