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Chapter 11 : Beneath the Surface
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Vivian Reyes walked down the halls, attracting more attention than any normal teenage girl was entitled to. A simple stroll down the Great Hall turned the heads of many guys, although she tried not to notice. She only had one thing in mind: must get to the Great Hall.
The visions she had the night before were so unbelievable, hence why she was a non-stop giggler. One of them came true; Mason Valmont returned to Hogwarts, and good heavens, he looked good. Too good. Viv was suspicious.
She saw how happy it made Vanessa, to see her crush returning to school, completely unharmed. Where he was, no one had a clue. Everyone was just glad to have him back. Everyone but Veronica, who split from the scene rather hurriedly.
Another vision came to her that night that was too unbelievable that she had to find out for herself. Viv remembered an image of two figures in darkness, kissing each other for their dear lives. It shocked and amused her to discern those figures as Violet and Lucas. Viv rushed faster to see if the happy couple was as she saw.
“Running the marathon, Viv?”
“ ‘Marathons are for poor people who can’t afford enchanted limos’” she quoted her sister in a shrill voice that sounded exactly identical to her. Viv remained in a speedy pace. “Try to keep up with me, Donahue. Toddlers crawl faster than you.”
She heard the laugh before she saw his figure match her speed. Adam was beside her, rushing in the same manner as she was.
“What’s the rush?” he questioned, a light smile on his face.
“Don’t worry, there’s always leftover bacon.” He chuckled, the door to the Great Hall right before them. His hands were on the handle before hers.
The thought of bacon made her stomach gag. “No, there’s just…something I have to see.”
Without saying anymore, Adam pulled open the door and gentlemanly allowed Viv admittance first. She eagerly stepped in, only to be greatly disappointed. Her triumphant smile scowled at the scene.
Nothing changed. Everything was exactly the same.
The V table was swarmed with Marauders, yet Ace still hadn’t arrived to breakfast. Vanessa and Veronica were still in dejected moods, moping, as usual. Violet sat on a far end of the table, the opposite of where Lucas was. As usual, they were avoiding each other deliberately, not even sparing glares at each other.
Viv felt a sense of dread. Were her visions just fake illusions? Did she lose her Head Seer-ness already? The eagerness within her died, and her speed regressed back into a slow pattern. Adam trudged obediently by her side, curiously tilting his head at her.
“Is something wrong?” he asked, stopping Viv midway down the tables. His hand gently grabbed her arm, and the students surrounding them noticed. In a matter of milliseconds, rumors were starting to erupt.
“Aw man, Donahue snagged Reyes? Lucky bastard.”
“Wasn’t she having fling with Johnny Burns?”
“I’ve heard she’s been having a go with everyone.”
“I heard the same about him, as well.”
“Not likely. By the looks of it, Adam looks utterly whipped.”
“Well,” Viv turned to face him, her smoky eyes troubled. She leaned in toward him and brought her voice to a low whisper. “I think my visions stopped working.”
His eyes widened. “No, that can’t be true. Explain.”
They stood in the middle of the Great Hall for a scandalous amount of time. In reality, it was only ten minutes, but as usual, nosy students got suspicious. They didn’t bother sitting down, so engrossed in their conversation.
Viv retold Adam of the visions last night, and the aftereffects. If there was anyone to ask about her secret, it was Adam. He listened intently, hanging onto every word she said. After finishing, she waited as he formulated an answer. She expected the brooding silence, interrupted only to hear that she wasn’t the Head Seer and that everything was just a joke. But Adam’s laughing instantly contradicted that.
“If I knew what was funny, I’d laugh, too.” She dryly commented, not pleased at his laughter. He brushed away the dark hair out of his eyes before answering.
“Viv, you must be patient. Sometimes change happens, but it just doesn’t want to surface.” He explained, cupping her shoulder so that he could face her to the V table. Her shoulder felt immensely pleasured at his touch. “You may not see it now, but there could be something brewing beneath the composed surfaces.”
Now that she thought about it, something did look a little off when she revisited the table. Violet and Lucas were deliberately avoiding each other, almost too deliberately. Usual glares would be exchanged between the two, but not even that. They were stubbornly refusing to meet each other’s eyes.
“And Ace isn’t even here,” Adam added, answering that unfulfilled vision. My shoulder was still tingling. “So you can’t judge yet. Don’t worry, you’re still the mythical being I am in love with.”
She scowled at his nonchalant tone, but felt a strange thrill when he said that word. He stared at her expectantly, his butterscotch eyes penetrating her. She knew he wanted to hear her parrot those words, she could feel it.
“Everything is just…too complicated,” she ended up grumbling, saving commitment for a later conversation. Not within earshot of all of Hogwarts. “Visions…the results, it’s all too confusing.”
Boldly, he removed his hand from her shoulder and instead opted for wrapping it around her waist. Instant warmth gratified her body; she frowned, trying to hide her satisfied grin.
“Baby steps....” He murmured in her ear, causing her to blush. The frown disappeared, replaced by a dazzling smile. They continued to walk to the table, never leaving each other’s eyes, yet they managed not to trip. Whispers continued to follow them; every rumor ridiculous as the last.
“And this is where I leave you, my lady,” Adam enunciated in a ridiculously formal tone as they approached the edge of the highly coveted V table. Stares attacked them, either curious or angry. “Burns looks like he wants to punch me.”
“Don’t mind him.” Viv waved her hand dismissively, also feeling a glare from the overly jealous Marauder. She had a feeling Johnny would give her hell after her and Adam’s display of affection this morning. “Stay here.”
Distractedly, almost as if not realizing it, he pushed a curl of dark hair behind her ear. He smiled, regretful. “So tempting. But,” He sighed. “I have somewhere I’ve got to be.”
“And where is that?” her flirtatious voice surprisingly came out. Did that mean that she was falling for Adam? He was devilishly dashing, sweet, perfect. A guy she wanted to be with.
But what about Johnny?
Johnny. The best friend turned bitter jackass overnight. Only rarely would nice-Johnny surface. Viv knew why, and hated it. Why couldn’t he take things as calmly as Adam? Adam, who was patient with whatever she chose; Adam, who was sweet and supportive throughout everything; Adam, who was so unlike Johnny yet—
“It’s a secret.” Adam smirked devilishly, running his fingers along the length of her jaw before exiting out wordlessly. The warm rush accelerated her heart rate, causing a breathless smile to show on her face as she sat down at the table.
Her eyes followed Adam’s departing figure, leaving the bustling Great Hall. Right as he left through the doors, another person entered: Ace.
A round of collective sighs were voiced, as well as a few hyperventilating girls. The breathtaking Marauder casually made his way toward the table to meet up with his friends, the eyes of every female on him. Viv watched as he greeted the rest of his group, Lucas, Teddy, and—
Almost instantly, she felt the presence of another person hovering near her. His testiness was so obvious that she could feel it. Even without looking up, she could tell that he was irritated.
“Viv,” Johnny angrily snapped with. “What the hell…”
Here we go again…
“…I’m going to uh, head out.” Violet announced, gathering her belongings hastily. “Homework’s a bitch.”
“You’re a Ravenclaw.” Vanessa’s eyebrows scrunched up adorably. “Aren’t you guys all about homework?”
Flustered, Violet added. “Well, there’s so much to…um…edit. Yeah.”
The Brighton twin observed her friend with curiosity. Violet never freaked out about homework, and it was such an oddity that she would now. Ever since the night before, she’d been acting completely uncharacteristic.
But then again, so had Vanessa. The return of Ace shook up Hogwarts, and Vanessa could only sigh in content. “Okay, hit the books with some good Ravenclaw action.”
“Books aren’t the only things Montague is good at hitting with action.” Another voice broke in from across the table.
“Jennings, go be an ass somewhere else.” Violet snapped, although her eyes were nervously flitting towards his. With a glare, she faced him with malice, “If anyone needs me, I’ll be alone at the Library.”
She whisked away hurriedly, her red curls bouncing with each step. In the middle of her impromptu angry march, she bumped into the arriving figure of Ace. Vanessa’s heart rate sped up as she listened to Violet and Ace exchange a few greetings before heading off to their destinations.
“Ace.” Lucas stepped up to slap hands with the nearing Marauder. The Brighton could feel Ace’s presence right behind her, and could hear him too; his voice sounded like smooth velvet, completely irresistible.
“Off somewhere, Luke?” she heard Ace ask.
“Um, oh yeah, I’m going…” Lucas’s voice sounded a tad bit struggled, yet rushed. “To the Lib—Lavatory! To…the…lavatory.”
“Okay,” Ace sounded unsure of why this exclamation was said with major emphasis. “Have fun.”
Lucas then darted away in a flash towards the exit of the Great Hall. Something told Vanessa that he wasn’t going to the lavatory, but what did that matter? Ace Valmont was standing near her, and she refused to pass up this chance.
Mason Valmont turned his head to the source of the sweet sound, and a smirk played on his lips *Cue the giggles and sighs of girls everywhere*. It was still maddening to him that every little move he made caused a wave of girl-craziness to sweep Hogwarts.
“Hey Brighton,” murmured Ace intently, taking a seat next to the bright honey blond twin. “Where’s Veronica?”
“I honestly have no idea.” She beamed, her bright eyes shining. “It’s good to have you back, Ace.”
“It’s good to be back,” he replied nonchalantly, though the sound of his voice could break a thousand hearts. Oddly, his eyes were found glancing at the exit, randomly. “I’m glad I was missed.”
His time away from Hogwarts was definitely life-changing; the transformation to vampiric methods was certainly different, but then again, he wasn’t a full vampire. He had kept many qualities of humans, but still had vampire twists to his system.
But his absence wasn’t purely for physical transformation, he also reflected upon his confusing life. With the help of his father and his family (mostly Amelia), the twin-soul mate controversy was slightly cleared up.
Of course it would be obvious that the twin he was supposed to be with was the first born of the Brightons. The first girl of the pair to enter the world and be declared his soul mate. It made sense, and Ace had a feeling that he was already in the presence of his destiny.
Vanessa blushed, a beautiful smile twisting her lips. “Yes, it was so different without you. I mean, the last time I saw you since you came back was in St. Mungos. I went to visit you, but, you looked terribly exhausted.”
He smiled with relief, a feeling he hadn’t been able to be comforted by in the longest time.
Vanessa Brighton, his soul mate. Finally, mystery solved.
The moment they danced that night, his pain melted away for an evanescent second. Being in her mere presence shunned all of the hurt, replacing it with a new, radiant feeling that was too much for words.
Ace remembered staring into her light eyes that night, seeing the deep adoration only achieved by people meant for each other. It was a love-at-first-sight moment unlike any other, but taken to drastic extremes. When the clock stroke midnight, the firstborn Brighton, his soul mate, the wonderful honey blond he was dancing with, was truly declared to be his. And he resulted in a suffering like no other.
“Oh you should have came in, I love visitors,” he grinned devilishly, his eyes trailing to the exit of the Great Hall as if pulled by a mysterious magnet. Instinctively, he felt his hand cover her hand. Like any human, she was warm. Like any vampire, he was cold.
“Veronica told me no, that I would just be a pest,” she ruefully smirked, shaking her head at the thought of her sister. His heart gave an erratic beat at the name, and he had no idea why. She absentmindedly traced patterns on his cool palm. “Oh well, you know older sisters….”
That was enough to pull him back to reality. “Excuse me?”
“Yeah, I’m the baby of the family.” Vanessa’s dark hazel eyes glimmered with innocence. “Only by a couple seconds!”
Ace, panicked, found himself staring at the exit once again. His brain began recalculating everything in an obsessive frenzy. Nothing in the world made sense anymore, everything would always be a cruel façade to him. For once, could things not be screwed up?
“But anyway, she told me not to be a bother after what happened to you at the party,” Vanessa continued, not aware that Ace was suffering a mental breakdown. “She kept recounting how much in pain you were when she was dancing with you and, that I wouldn’t make it any better.”
“Wait,” his voice was filled with insecurity. All of his confidence was shattered, he didn’t know what was true anymore. “You didn’t dance with me?”
“To tell you the truth, I was too shy to go up to you.” She confessed with a pink flush to her cheeks. “Veronica had more balls than I did.”
It was Veronica. Veronica Brighton. His eyes automatically lingered on the exit of the Great Hall once again, he finally found out why. His body was inadvertently searching for her, drawn to where she would be.
“But this….us…” Vanessa gently squeezed his hand, her eyes prickling with joy. “What’s going on?”
He couldn’t formulate an answer, his brain was too preoccupied with the other Brighton. How could he switch them up? With Vanessa, who seemed completely smitten with him, and Veronica, who was destined for him, how would he choose without hurting one of them?
“I don’t know,” was all he could pathetically muster up. Gently, he got up and slowly slid his hand out of hers. “Rain check?”
With a dazzling smile, she answered, “Of course.”
After throwing her a slight nod, he ambled towards the exit, out the doorway, to meet up with his destiny. His true one.
“Gross. Alumnae Weekend is coming up.” Dreaded Victoire, her voice flat and deadpan. “Let the countdown begin…”
And so the nightmare continued, Victoire preparing for the three parts: before the Dinner, during, and then after. She couldn’t tell which was more unendurable.
The shining sun dazzling through the windows of the classroom was the polar opposite of the Head V’s emotions for the upcoming weekend.
“Aren’t you just bursting with excitement?” Oliver sarcastically observed as he leaned against her desk. “Trust me, the faster we get this over with, the better.”
“Do you think they’d let us borrow a Time-turner?” she suggested.
“That bad, huh?” Oliver smirked, noticing Victoire’s added moodiness. He shook his head lightly, as if in disbelief. “But your dad is Bill Weasely. Seriously, the fact that you are a Weasley means that you’ve descended from greatness.”
“Wow, my mom will really like you.” Victoire replied, knowing that Fleur Weasley would find Phyllis-flattery very appealing. If only he knew what happened back at the Weasley residence. The disputes between her parents happened so frequently that she was glad that Hogwarts was a boarding school.
“Ah, so I get to meet the parents,” he mused, a pleased smirk playing on his lips. “Wow, big step.”
“I get to meet yours, too.” Victoire countered back, refusing to blush like he expected. “I mean, it is Parents weekend.”
She felt a strange jolt when Oliver said, “big step”. The blonde couldn’t tell if she was mad that he was assuming they were going places, or impressed with his audacity. To tease Victoire was something not done often, but always granted with punishment.
Strangely enough, she didn’t mind. They talked too much to each other to be afraid of what words came out of their mouths. But she had to stay faithful to her plan. She didn’t want to accept Oliver immediately, yet she didn’t also want a certain approval.
“Actually,” Oliver’s smirk grew even more devilishly dashing. “No parents for me this weekend.”
“Sorry, sweets,” he was strangely pleased with Victoire’s scowl. “My dad went to Durmstrang. Mum went to Beauxbatons. Guess that leaves all the parenting to you.”
“Ughh, that’s so unfair!” she whined, a very un-Victoireish thing to do. She ruffled her silky blond hair, an impulsive reaction when overwhelmed with stress. Her scent for today of apricots ran free throughout the room, causing a chorus of boys to sigh dreamily.
“De-stress with me, V.” Oliver murmured, bringing his hands over to the back of her neck. Slowly, he started to massage gently, causing glares to erupt everywhere. “De-stress.”
“What do you need to stress about?” She snapped, although enjoying the back rub. She didn’t want him to notice her approval.
“The sight of you in misery will be stressful enough,” he commented in a low whisper, sounding both sweet and dangerous at the same time. She couldn’t tell if he was joking, but he certainly wasn’t laughing.
Her blond head whipped around to see him clearly.
Head Stud face to face with Head V. Head Stud giving Head V a back rub. It was enough to fill Hogwarts’s gossip quota for the next few years. Her aquamarine eyes bore into his dark ones, hoping to show the same intimidation that she felt from him.
“Ah-em!” Suddenly, someone behind cleared his throat. Loudly…not to mention rudely, as well.
Victoire and Oliver had to turn around to see the source of the interruption, and Oliver scoffed in response.
“Sorry to interrupt your little moment, Phyllis,” Teddy sarcastically spat, his apology deliberately insincere. “But you’re blocking the board.”
“Oh, sorry. Lupin wants to learn.” Oliver addressed to Victoire, standing up from the desk to leave. “Better not waste this truly momentous occasion.”
Victoire stifled her giggle, and opted for a sly grin instead. Teddy’s jealousy was a sure sign of victory for her. Even if the Head Marauder was sitting behind her, she still felt shivers. If he wanted to act like a jerk, then Victoire would act like a bitch. Even.
If her plan worked as she planned, then Teddy would be in the palm of her hand. His impending jealousy would drive him over the edge, making him realize what his true feelings for Victoire were. And no, she would not settle for attraction.
She knew Teddy and her were more than that. Something stronger. Even she was afraid to admit what she felt for him, and she wouldn’t fully open up until he did.
The In-chanting Benefit was bound to drive him crazy. He would finally choose what they both wanted, and everything would end with them, together. She just had to hold on a little longer to Oliver to achieve her just victory.
“We’ll de-stress later.” Oliver uttered softly, swooping in to kiss her on the cheek before leaving. Uncharacteristic red displayed on her cheeks, a wave of hotness rolling around her body. From behind, she could hear a sharp hiss of jealousy.
Victoire was fully prepared to shake off Oliver when the time came for her and Teddy. But was Oliver prepared to give her up?
Dear Fantastic Readers,
I’m extremely sorry for the long wait. I know, you probably all get tired from that lousy excuse, but it’s all I have L If I had more time, I’d be updating every week. But sadly, I do not have that luxury. Anyway, enough moping, what did you think of the chapter? What are you most anticipating? In-chanting Benefit, where a showdown between Teddy and Oliver will finally ensue? The Hogwarts Alumnae Weekend, where all of our favorite HP characters return? Ace’s encounter with Veronica, the true soul mate? That eternal battle between Adam and Johnny for Viv? The strange, dysfunctional relationship between Lucas and Vi? Wow, a ton of things to look forward to J
But I have a little poll for all of you readers. Show your support and choose!:
Team Teddy or Team Oliver
Team Marauders or Team Studs
Favorite Stud (if you have any)?
Can’t wait to see your answers (honestly, we should make t-shirts for these teams :D) Thank you so much, and also, as you have noticed, all of my wonderful reviews are gone :(. I miss them terribly. Read and Review please!
Your Obedient Servant,
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