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Glittering façades, and what lies beneath them by sofai
Chapter 14 : Chapter fourteen: These things just don't happen
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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AN: Sorry if this update took so long but the queue was long and I edited the chapter too. AND, as if that wasn't enough I messed up again. I knew I had to add a couple of warnings and I thought that I had done it, but it turned out I hadn't so the chapter got rejected first. Sorry!

I’m so relieved that you guys don’t want to kill me! I was so scared that you would hate me so I had to wait one day before I was brave enough read my reviews. Pathetic, I know haha.

But it just shows how important you readers are to me. I wouldn’t keep writing if it wasn’t for you. So thanks for reading and reviewing! And I’ll try to stay calm and not freak out when I post this chapter and especially the next one. Okay? Deal.

Also, you might have noticed that my story is on the Last updated list often, without a new chapter added. It's simply because I edit my chapters all the time. I'm reading through them here at HPFF for the first time and I discover several things I just have to change. I should just get a beta instead.

Speaking of betas, how does that work? Do I email my chapter to my beta or what..?

Wow, this must me my longest AN yet. I hope you had the energy to read it. I'm going to shut up now.


***



I don’t know how long I lay on the floor crying my eyes out, but it felt like an eternity. But at some point I realized I couldn’t lie there much longer. I needed to take care of myself. So I stood up slowly and peeked out of the classroom. Every move I made hurt indescribably much.

Luckily, the corridor was empty. I walked out of the room and walked as fast as I could. My ribs were throbbing and my face felt swollen. I reached the girls’ bathroom and went in. I walked over to one of the mirrors, preparing myself for what I would see.

My face was indeed swollen, and my mascara was smeared all over my face. A black eye was starting to form, and my cheek was bright red. I looked terrible. I touched the back of my head and felt a bump. My wrist was red, and I would probably have a bruise there soon.

I carefully lifted my top so that I could see how my stomach looked. My ribs were really swollen, and a big bruise was starting to form. It covered almost the entire stomach. That explained why every movement hurt so badly.

I was in worse shape than I had thought. Much worse. How had I ended up like this? Where had everything gone so wrong? Several other questions were spinning around in my head, but there was really only one I was thinking about:

What was I going to do?

Could I really tell my friends about this? I remembered Zach’s threat, but I wasn’t scared. If I told my friends, he was the one that should be afraid. My friends would go completely crazy. They would with no doubt kick Zach’s ass.

The thought of Zach getting hurt made me feel better, but I didn’t want my best friends to end up in trouble. I didn’t know if Hogwarts suspended students, but it was possible. And I really didn’t want my friends to get suspended or expelled. But at the same time there was no way that I could tell them without a reaction.

Lily and Remus would want me to go to McGonagall. It was the easiest way to get Zach punished, but I didn’t know if I could do it. I was too ashamed. I didn’t want all the teachers to know about this, which they would if I would tell a professor.
Sirius, Alisha and James would say that punishing Zach by telling the teachers wouldn’t be enough. They would want to beat him up.

I knew what would happen if I told my friends, but the question was, what did I want to happen? I didn’t want people to know about this. Sure, I wanted Zach to be punished but it was more important that as few as possible knew about this. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stand all the people feeling sorry for me.

I realized that I couldn’t tell anyone about it. It would only make everything worse. I was going to have to act as if nothing had happened. But how was that going to work?

The black eye was going to draw a lot of attention to me. That and the fact that Zach and I broke up would pretty much reveal my lies. I needed to come up with a story; a really good story.

The other bruises weren’t any problems. They would be easy to hide. I didn’t think my ribs were broken, but I performed a couple of healing spells that Lily had taught me just in case. I also used them on my face, to reduce the black eye. It worked, but not entirely. You could still see the bruise pretty clearly.

It was better than before, so it would have to work. I washed away the smeared make up and cleaned my clothes with a spell. While I did all this, a plan started to form in my head. It wasn’t very good, but I couldn’t come up with any better.

I ruffled my hair and pulled my clothes to achieve a messy look. Then, I was ready to go. Physically, but not mentally. So I stayed in the bathroom for a couple of minutes, preparing myself for meeting my friends. I tried not to think about how it had felt, lying on the floor, receiving kick after kick…

I shook my head to remove the images. I didn’t have time for this. If my plan was going to work, I had to go now. So I took a deep breath and walked out of the bathroom.


***



I heard the muffled sound of voices as I stood outside the portrait. I had just said the password to the Fat Lady, so the portrait would swing open in just a couple of seconds.

Suddenly, I felt like running in the opposite direction. I wasn’t ready for this. But would I ever be? I didn’t have time to wait. This just had to be done.
I had never lied to my friends before, not like this anyway. But I had no other choice. I couldn’t tell them.

The portrait swung open and I immediately went into my role. From that moment, I wasn’t the broken girl Zach had turned me into. I was the super drunk girl. Hopefully my plan would work.

I staggered into the common room, walking into one of the walls. Pain shot through me, but gritted my teeth and ignored it.

The common room wasn’t as crowded as it had been before. All of the guests had gone back to their common rooms. There were only Gryffindors left, which made it easy for my friends to catch sight of me. I saw them in a corner of the room and set my plan into action.

I pretended to stumble and fell forward, waving my arms frantically. My head hit the table, just like I had wanted it to.


“OWW! FUCK!”


I didn’t have to pretend to be in pain. I had managed to fall in the right angle, so my black eye had hit the edge of the table. It hurt more than I had thought it would. I put my hand over my eye to see if there was any blood. Luckily it wasn’t.

Sirius was by my side in only a couple of seconds.


“Shit Sophia, are you okay?”


I groaned. “I hit my face.”


He tried to remove my hand. “Let me take a look at it.”


I let my hand fall down and prayed to God that he wouldn’t notice that the black eye wasn’t new. Hopefully he was a bit drunk so he wouldn’t think about it.
I watched stiffly as he examined my face. He was frowning, but I couldn’t read his face. Did he know I was lying?

The rest of the group had come too, and all of them were examining me. I tried my best not to panic; it would ruin my plan completely. I focused on my breathing, and to look as drunk as possible.


“You’re impossible. We leave you alone for a couple of hours and you manage to get drunk again” Lily said, as she looked at me with narrowed eyes.


I was so relieved. Lily believed me. She actually bought this crappy act. Then there was just one more person left to convince…

Remus was looking at me suspiciously. He probably didn’t know what to think. If there was one person who would be able so see through my act, it was Remus. He was like a lie detector.


“That’s a really nasty bruise you’ve got there. It almost looks like it’s been growing for a while” Remus said, looking at me intensely.


I panicked and considered giving up right there. But it was too soon; I had to at least try to convince him too.


“Well, seeing how drunk she is it wouldn’t surprise me if she have managed to walk into a wall on her way here” Alisha said and rolled her eyes.


I loved Alisha so much in that moment. She probably saved me with that sentence. If I would have said it, it would sound like a lame excuse. But when it came from someone else, it actually sounded credible.


“Yeah, I might have tripped on my way here…” I slurred.


Sirius let out his bark like laughter. “Sounds just like you, love.”


I looked at Remus and met his gaze. He looked like he felt sorry for me. It seemed that he had bought my story, and I relaxed. The worst part was over.
I thought about telling them about my break up with Zach, but I figured it was best to wait.


“So, did you have a good night?” James said and grinned. He probably thought I had had an amazing time, since I sneaked off with Zach. If only he knew…


“Uhm… Not really” I said, trying to avoid the subject.


“What, did something happen?” Sirius said and looked at me worriedly.


“Yeah… I’ll tell you tomorrow. Right now I just want to sleep” I said, trying to sound drunk. I couldn’t drop my façade now. Not when it hade gone so well.


Sirius opened his mouth to say something but Lily gave him a sharp look that told him to shut up. I was so thankful that Lily didn’t want to push me about it. I didn’t know if I could handle much more right now.

Sirius helped me up and supported me to the stairs. Then Lily and Alisha grabbed my arms and helped me climb the stairs. My whole body ached and pretending to be drunk didn’t make anything better. I had to let go of my body control, so my body slammed into both of my friends several times.

It felt like an eternity before I finally was lying in my bed. My friends tucked me down and shut my hangings. I was happy that they didn’t try to remove my clothes.

I knew that sleeping would be hard. Every time I closed my eyes I immediately thought of what had happened in the classroom. I couldn’t think of anything else. The scene repeated itself in my head over and over again.

I couldn’t believe what had happened. It all felt so unreal. That kind of stuff just didn’t happen. But it had.

I also couldn’t believe that I had managed to fool all of my friends. My plan had been bad and my acting skills weren’t great either, but still I had managed to convince them. Even Remus believed that I had just tripped.

I was relieved. But it wasn’t over yet. Chances were that they would become suspicious when they heard about the break up. I mean, who wouldn’t? But hopefully they would have a hard time to believe that Zach could do such a thing. Because these things just didn’t happen.

My head was spinning with thoughts and I felt salty tears rolling down my cheeks. How had my life become such a mess in just one night?

I couldn’t blame myself for not seeing this coming. Zach had been so sweet and nice to me. Sure, he had showed his jealousy a couple of times, but it was nothing compared to this. He had put up a façade, so thick that no one could see through it. I doubted that even his best friends knew about his dark side.

No, Zach had fooled everyone. He had seemed like a nice, loving guy. Of course, that was his purpose too. His façade was everything to him.

In one way, I couldn’t blame him for acting. Everyone has their facades, to hide things they don’t want people to know about. Some have bigger than others. It’s just the way people work.

I had put on a façade this evening, and I would have to live with it for a while. I had to pretend that everything was okay. The break up would allow me to be at least a little sad, but it would still be an act.

But I had made this decision to not tell my friends, so I would have to live with the consequences. I would have to lie to them again. I would have to act in front of them. I would have to meet Zach in the corridors and pretend as if he hasn’t beaten the shit out of me. Every act has its consequences, and these were the ones I would have to live with.


***


“Should we wake her up?”


“I’m not sure… She was really drunk yesterday. Perhaps it’s best if we let her sleep.”


“Yeah, you’re probably right.”


I heard the voices of my two best friends, but I didn’t do anything. Instead I let them believe I was asleep. The longer I could stay in bed, the better. But I had to talk to them sooner or later. Right now, I’d prefer later.

I heard them shut the door, and the dorm fell silent. I peaked out of my hangings to see if there was anyone else there, but the room was empty. Sighing in relief, I carefully made my way to the bathroom. Every single move was like a stab with a knife.

I positioned myself in front of the mirror and started to undress. My black eye was surprisingly not that bad. Sure, it was visible but it actually looked like it could have been caused by an accident, and not by a punch.

I gasped as I pulled my top off. Dark green and blue bruises covered my ribs and I had several bruises on my stomach as well. Some of them were almost black. I had never seen anything like it in my entire life.

I had a bruise on my wrist too, and one on my shoulder. It was probably from when I was pushed into the wall… The bump in my head was still there too.

I felt the tears in my eyes and let them fall. I really was messed up. But I wouldn’t feel better by just standing there, so I pulled the rest of my clothes of and stepped into the shower. Hopefully, that would clear my mind a little.


***


When I got out Lily and Alisha were back. I mentally thanked myself for getting dressed in the bathroom instead of just wrapping a towel around me. They were looking at me worriedly and I remembered that I was supposed to be really hung over.


“Hey guys…” I began, not really knowing what to say.


Lily smiled. “How are you feeling?”


“Trust me; I’ve been better” I said, failing to hide my bitterness.


“Bad hungover?” Alisha asked.


I made a grimace. “That too. I, eh, threw up earlier. But please don’t tell the guys. They’ll just make fun of me.”


I couldn’t believe how easy it was to act. It was like it came naturally. They seemed to believe every word I said, but we hadn’t even gotten to the real subject.


Lily looked at me, her eyes filled with worry. “What happened with Zach?”


Her words almost made me break down completely. I was so close to falling down on the floor, crying. But I had to stay strong. I couldn’t break down.

I didn’t even have to pretend to look pained.


“We broke up.”


Both of them gasped and stared at me in shock. I could understand why they were surprised; they thought that Zach and I were the perfect couple; that we were so in love and so good for each other. They didn’t know about our previous arguments.


“Why?” Lily said, looking sad.


“We just weren’t right for each other… I guess. It didn’t work.”


“But why? You two were so good together!” Alisha exclaimed.


“Er… yeah. We had an argument before Christmas. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. But we had a fight, and then it was never the same. So we decided to break up, because it didn’t work.”


Both of them stared at me, wide eyed. Lily was the first one who was able to speak.


“I’m sorry Sophia. You should have told us, but it’s okay. But the question is, are you okay?”


And once again I was close to a breakdown. I felt the tears in my eyes but blinked rapidly to prevent them from falling. I had to control myself; the show had to go on.


“I guess I’m not entirely okay… But this was for the best. I’ll get over it.”


They exchanged worried glances.


“Are you sure?” Alisha asked tentatively.


“Yes.”


I winced when I heard how sharp my voice sounded. I looked at them and saw that they had noticed it too.


“Look, I’m not feeling too well today. You know, the hangover and… Yeah. So I think I’ll just stay in here today. Could you bring me something from the kitchen?”


Once again they looked at each other worriedly. I felt bad for making them feel that way. But I couldn’t go down today. I couldn’t face the rest of my friends. I couldn’t walk in the corridors, risking to meet Zach. I knew I would break down completely if I did one of those.

I had done enough and I needed to gather myself before I could face the rest of the school. Besides, my black eye would make the rumours fly and I wanted to avoid that. Who knew if they would find out the truth? After all, it wouldn’t be too hard to guess. So staying in the dorm felt like the only option for me.


“Of course we can. Do you want us to talk to the guys?”


I nodded weakly. “Yeah, that would be nice of you. Please try to stop them from doing anything stupid.”


Alisha smiled and patted me on the shoulder, right on the bruise. I had to bite my tongue to stay quiet. “We promise. They won’t be able to do anything.”


They walked out of the dorm, leaving me on my own. The air felt much lighter. I could breathe normally, and relax. I needed this; to be alone. I needed to gather myself, to be stronger. Otherwise I didn’t know how long I would be able to keep this façade up.

I felt the taste of salty tears, and I wasn’t surprised. Despite having cried so much, I still had lots of tears left. It seemed like I never ran out of them. They just kept on falling.

I tried to assure myself that I would be okay; that this would be over soon. But I didn’t believe it; there was still so much left to do. I had yet to face the rest of my friends. Hell, I had yet to face the whole school!

Sure, everyone couldn’t possibly know what had happened, but I was sure that the news about my break up would be out soon. Hogwarts was, after all, a gossip mill. I didn’t know if I could stand the looks people would give me. I would probably become paranoid and believe that someone had found out the truth.

But deep down inside I knew that it would stay a secret unless I told anyone about it. Because there was no chance in hell that Zach would tell anyone. How would he say it? ‘Yeah, oh and by the way, I beat up my girlfriend, or previous girlfriend this weekend!’

No, this secret was safe as long as I didn’t screw up.

The thought calmed me down a little, but the tears wouldn’t stop falling. I curled up under my cover and stared at the thick, red hangings. I thought about all of the girls who had lain in this bed before me. Perhaps one of them had been through the same thing… But it wasn’t likely.

But surely, many of them must have been through some sort of ghastliness? Something they cried their eyes out for. Something they couldn’t tell anyone about; something they had to go through alone.

In some weird way it felt comforting, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had been suffering. I wasn’t the first one to lie there crying. I wasn’t the only one. I calmed down a little, and closed my eyes. And once again, I cried myself to sleep.


***

Nooo! Stupid girl! Why didn’t she tell them? And how stupid aren’t they to believe her? And will they find out anyway?

I’m just trying to guess what you’re thinking. But instead of me guessing, you can just leave a review so I can find out, yeah? :D

And please tell me if there are any annoying grammar mistakes.

/ S


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