Chapter 11 : She's in love with a boy...
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I'll give you guys a hint: the line is fairly near to the end. So yeah! Read, and as always, leave a review or four!
"The truth is, I've been in love with Cameron Potter for ten and a half years, since that day on the beach when he saved my life and we discovered that kissing was really, really icky."The words kept ringing in Cam's ears. He wished to Merlin that he hadn't stepped in as Aisley began to tell her 'secret.' Wished that he hadn't been so loopy over her that just the sound of her voice was enought to make him do just about anything, including listening to something that rocked his world and spun it in the opposite direction.
Memories were flooding back to him. Things they'd said, things they'd done. That day on the beach....Cam couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if that day had come just a few years later. Or what would have happened if he had admitted to himself that the innocent kiss they'd shared when they were ten really wasn't all that icky. As the thoughts swirled in his mind, Cam made his way up to the attic.
When they were thirteen, Aisley had caught him snogging Emmy Jordan behind a pair of statues near Professor Flitwick's room. For a moment, he'd thought she was hurt. But then she'd laughed it off, saying only "You guys better hide. Filch is headed this way, and he's on a rampage." And during the first week of their fourth year, he'd discovered he had a huge crush on her. He practiced what he would say to her in his mirror for several months. And it was hard; he couldn't just ask her to come to the next Quidditch match with him- they always went together. Same for Hogsmeade. Studying, too. And he couldn't just say "Oh, d'you wanna date me?": even back then, he'd known she was too special for that. So he'd continued with the mirror for a while. He even worked up the nerve to ask her several times, but as he was opening his mouth, she'd start treating him like she was his sister.
So he'd switched gears. One day he'd asked her if she'd say yes if he asked her to go out with him. She'd just looked at him soberly and said "Sure," but he'd considered it as a reason to hope. And then he'd overheard a conversation between her and the other Gryffindor girls in their year.
"So, Lupin. I heard that you like Cameron." one of them had said. Aisley barely looked up.
"Well, duh!" she'd said, and Cam's heart had soared. Then she had continued, and his grin faded. "He's my best friend, of course I like him!"
"Don't be dumb. I heard you like him like him. Do you?"
"Do I what?"
"Like him like that?"
"That's none of your business." Aisley had sneered. Even though his heart was sinking, Cam had to give her credit for being spunky.
"OOH, she does!" a girl had taunted. Aisley's book slammed shut.
"No, I don't!" she'd cried. Feeling like his heart had broken in two, Cam left. Looking back on the incident, he realized that she'd answered too quickly to be telling the truth.
There was the time when they were sixteen planning their careers. They'd been out on a cliff, and he'd finally agreed to go traveling with her the summer after they graduated.
"Cam!" she'd squealed, launching herself at him. "Do you mean it?"
"Yeah, I mean it." he'd said gruffily. It was the only defense he knew to combat her shining eyes. He'd still been hung up on her, trying to recover. She wasn't helping much.
"Oh, Cam, this means so much to me! It's gonna be so great! You are the best EVER, do you know that?"
"Yeah, I know I am." he replied absently. He was in the process of putting her down, when he'd been struck by the urge not to. "I love you, Ais." he whispered.
"You what?" she asked, some strange emotion blooming in those blue eyes of hers. Only now did he recognize it for what it was- a desperate need to hope when all hope was gone.
"I love you." he'd repeated, but then he'd panicked. "You know, as a friend."Quick as a flash, he'd killed all that hope. And he despised himself for it now. But he marveled at her ability to hide it, both now AND then.
"Oh." she'd smiled. "Well, I guess I love you, too."
And then there were so many other memories. He despaired over them as he barricaded himslef in the attic. There was teh time she'd caught Ellie sneaking out of his room at two in the morning. She hadn't said a word. But he'd wondered why she looked so angry and why Ellie had looked so...triumphant, even though she'd woken him up only two minutes before to tell him that she thought the blue shirt would be best for whatever thing she'd planned. It was obvious now that Ellie had known. Which was why she'd convinced Aisley to go off on her own. Aisley said she'd been running from him....it saddened him to know that was true.
He'd been so angry when she left. And so hurt. He'd broken up with Ellie only a few weeks later. And it pained him to realize he'd only used the girls he dated to get to Aisley. He'd dated every single one of them with the sole goal of making her jealous and he thought it hadn't worked. Jeez, wasn't he a prince! No wonder she'd wanted nothing to do with dating him. Rebecca had been right. She'd told him he'd ruined his one chance for happiness, and he had. The one girl he'd ever loved had, by her own words, only ever oved him He should have been ecstatic.
Instead, he wept. For all the chances he'd had, but missed. For all the times he'd forced her to pretend she only wanted his friendship. For every single time he'd hurt her. What was that saying? Love is knowing that one person has the power to hurt you more than anything in the world, and trusting that person not to. And Aisley had never hurt him; he'd betrayed her trust in him...her love...her friendship...more times than he could count. But stiill, she loved him. Enough to refuse him when she wasn't sure he was serious. Enough to be angry when he did stupid things like propose. She loved him. And God help him, he loved her. He loved her. He loved her. He loved her.Cam let that sink in for a minute. He loved her. He always had. And after ten years, he was no longer denying it.
He loved her. And by Merlin, it was time he did something about it. Something other than bawl about it.
It had only taken a few moments for Rebecca to figure out that Cam was heading upstairs. But she gave him a few minutes to process by himself...she figured he would give her the same courtesy if it was her world that had suddenly been turned upside down. Or at least, she hoped so.
After about five minutes, she headed up to Cam's room. He wasn't there. For a second, Rebecca was confused, thinking that perhaps her brother had Apparated to some other location. Then she remembered the attic.
Like she expected, the dorr was locked. Well, she'd sure have done more than just lock the door. But hey...her brother had always lived on teh Planet Clueless, so who was she to change him? With a sigh, Rebecca jiggled at the door handle. Nothing. She tried again.
"Cam!" Still nothing. "Open up!" She jiggled the lock again and detected a faint sound. .....Wait....What? Rebecca didn't believe her ears. Was Cam crying??? Oh, that was so strange. The last time she'd seen Cam cry was when she was twelve and his dog had died. But then again...after Aisley had left him high and dry, he'd arrived home, panicked and angry, his face had shown tell-tale blotchiness, and his eyes had been suspiciously wet. But having an attack of the sniffles was far different from teh weeping that was apparently happening on the other side of the door. Rebecca pounded on it, but to no avail. She was just pulling out her wand when Cam apparently changed his mind and the door flew open. Rebecca looked him up and down, and was only mildly disturbed by what she saw. Her big brother's face was sheer white, and his eyes were dark and glossy. The thing that disturbed her most, however, was that other than that, he appeared completely normal. Cam stared at her, then jerked the door open and motioned for her to come into the attic. Once she did, he shut the door again with a quiet calm that told Rebecca without a doubt that he w as furious.
Of course, the fact that he was pacing around the room nonstop could have clued her in as well. After several minutes, Cam whipped around. His expression was still calm, unless you happened to see the turbulent emotions racing through his emerald eyes.
"You knew." The way he said it, it was a statement, not a question. Rebecca squirmed slightly.
"Well....yes. Kind of." she admitted. Cam glared hotly at her. "Oh, come off it, Cam! I thought she was just...you know, crushing. I didn't know she was in love with you!" she whispered angrily.
"Women. You expect us to know everything, and when we don't, we get the 'angry whisper' thing." Cam said sarcastically. His sister smacked him. They glared at each other for a moment before Cam turned away.
"Look..." he said, sighing to himself. "It doesn't really make sense for me to yell at you."
"Darn straight it doesn't." Rebecca interrupted him. Cam scowled.
"Becca!" he said quietly. "I don't know how to say this, but...well, I love her."
"Thank you, Captain Obvious." she said dryly.
"Will you stop interrupting me?" Cam asked angrily. "I just bloody told you I love her!" Rebecca looked at him in shock, but for once, she said nothing.
"I'm so bloody unhinged right now. And it's always been this way. But....dammit, Becca, I don't know what to do!"
That was it. Rebecca couldn't take it anymore.
"Just tell her, you BLOOMING IDIOT!" she cried.
"Oh, geez. Why didn't I think of that?" Cam said sarcastically. "Oh, wait...I did. But I realized it wasn't going to go over well, so I decided not to go that route."
"Do you want my help or not?" Rebecca demanded.
"Then shut up and listen. " Rebecca retorted. "Here's what you're going to do..."
A/N: Well, what do you think, people? I know, I know....it's long and back-story-ish. But necessary. Anyway. You guys know the drill. Oh, and I'll be more specific about the challenge....if you win, the only wishes I won't grant will be to kill anyone who isn't already supposed to die, to make any really weird couples like Cam/Jamie, Aisley/Sirius, and I absolutely will NOT have anyone in the future suddenly decide that they were just being delusional about the whole love thing. Other than that, you guys are pretty much free to submit anything you want. Oh, and no slash, please. Anywho....reviews make me very happy. So submit them, and happy reading/writing!
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