Chapter 31 : Threatened
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343. I saw Leah Fairfax making out with Adam Fisher in an empty classroom last night!
344. I still feel like we have a connection, even if we never talk.
345. I’m completely in love with Brandon Harris.
346. Celine Bellevue be prettier if she weren’t a slut.
347. When you asked if your flirting was messing with my emotions, I wasn’t joking when I said it was.
348. Jacob Reister has failed almost every Potions exam!
349. I feel that fighting is better than being alone.
350. Jenna Moore is such a bossy know-it-all!
“This is getting a big out of hand…” Marley sighed, pushing the Hogwarts Confessional back under my nose.
“The names are more frequent and the secrets are getting a bit…revealing,” Emilie dropped her chin in her hands.
I glanced over to Pippa’s bed where she was perched, her arms wrapped around the bedpost. She was scanning through her own confessional, a crease forming between her eyebrows as she read. I looked back down at the book and reread the confessions.
“I just don’t know what we could do about it,” I shrugged, looking up at Marley and Emilie’s worried faces. “If I try a spell and it backfires, then everyone will notice when their books suddenly change. But if people keep writing names… what if a teacher finds one of these books? There are secrets about people cheating on tests….students could get in serious trouble for this if they’re true.”
“But we can’t just ignore it anymore,” Pippa chimed in, lifting her eyes to stare at us. “Some of these secrets are about us. What if they start getting worse? Or just plain vindictive?”
“There’s nothing we can do,” I said again, falling back on Marley’s bed. “If it gets a lot worse we’ll just have to destroy all of them.”
“Let’s give it until after Christmas,” Emilie suggested. “Maybe people will settle down a little over the holiday.”
“Maybe,” I muttered, highly doubting it.
None of us wanted to discuss the possibility of destroying the books any further, so Emilie turned the discussion back to what has been the main thing on everyone’s minds lately: the Snow Angel ball. Needless to say, with talk of dresses and makeup, any worry about the books was wiped from our minds pretty quickly.
I walked back to my dorm after dinner. With the ball only a week away, we were supposed to head down to the kitchens to confirm the food we had ordered with the house elves.
I walked through the portrait hole and wasn’t surprised to see Holly sitting on the couch doing homework while Potter worked at the table. Holly had been a constant presence in our dorm for the past week since I’d overheard their fight. It was like she didn’t want to let him out of her sight anymore.
Holly looked up at my only long enough to give me an icy stare before turning back to her work. I glanced over at Potter who was busy practicing our latest Transfiguration homework. He looked tired; His dark hair was messier than usual and his eyes had dark circles underneath them. He yawned as he turned his coffee mug fluidly into ferret that scampered frantically around the table.
“Hey,” I said, dropping my bag on the empty chair across the table from him. The ferret squeaked at the sound my bag made and scampered back to Potter. “Ready to go to the kitchens?”
Potter yawned again, trying to conceal it behind his hand. Why was he so tired? My eyes flickered over to Holly who had the same dark circles under her eyes. Had they been staying up late together? My stomach clenched unpleasantly at the thought.
“Yeah, lets go,” Potter said. His voice was scratchy. It sounded like he hadn’t slept at all in three days.
“Look, I can go by myself if you want, it’s no big deal,” I said, raising my eyebrows at him.
Potter shook his head quickly as if he were trying to get rid of his sleepiness. “No,” he said, his voice stronger. “I’ll come.”
He pushed himself away from the table and we headed to towards the door. My heart fluttered softly at the thought of us finally getting a chance to be alone again, but the fluttering was cut short when I noticed that Holly hopped off the couch and trailed closely behind Potter, watching him carefully as he followed me out.
I let out a deep sigh. Looks like I won’t be getting any alone time with him after all…
* * * * *
“She never leaves!” I burst angrily, slamming my head on the table.
“Shhhh,” Pippa hushed me, glancing around at the stares my outburst was attracting. The library was fuller than usual since the Christmas break was so soon and most classes had essays and exams due before the break.
Well, she has to leave sometime, right?” Remus said absently, his eyes focused on something at the end of a row of books, out of sight from the rest of us.
“She never leaves,” I said again, lifting my head so that my chin was resting on the hard wood table. “She’s there when I wake up, when I go to sleep. I haven’t spoken to Potter alone in almost a week!”
“You know she’s just jealous,” Pippa rolled her eyes, her hand softly combing through my wavy red hair. “She knows she has competition.”
“Or she’s just a clingy, whiny, overly-protective, pathetic excuse for a girlfriend,” Sirius grumbled with a sour expression on his face.
“Ha, how do you really feel about her?” I laughed.
“She’s a complete air-head!” Sirius exclaimed, making the fourth years at the next table jump. “Every time I’ve been around her she’s been nothing but annoying. I don’t know how James can put up with it. What was it she said the other day, Remus?”
“That’s nice…” Remus mumbled obviously not paying any attention to us, his eyes still focused on something out of sight.
“What on earth are you staring at?” Pippa giggled, snapping Remus back to attention.
“What? Oh, nothing,” Remus said quickly, focusing on the book in front of him.
“Uh huh, sure,” Pippa said and we both moved next to Remus and peered between the shelves where Remus had been looking before.
Marley and Emilie were sitting at a table at the end of the shelves, each intently reading a book. They weren’t doing anything odd; nothing that would warrant staring. Pippa and I glanced at each other and then down at Remus, whose face had turned a lovely shade of scarlet.
“Why were you staring at Marley and Emilie?” Pippa asked, leaning on her elbows in front of Remus, blocking him off from his book.
“I wasn’t,” Remus stuttered, attempting to push Pippa away from him.
“Liar,” I said, leaning around the other side of him, mirroring Pippa. “You like her, don’t you?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Remus shook his head, his face turning a deeper shade of red. Sirius was smirking across the table from us, not bothering to come to his friend’s defense.
“Come on, Remus,” Pippa purred. “We all noticed how you reacted when Emilie was talking about all the guys who had asked her to the Snow Angel ball. You like her, just admit it.”
“That’s….no… I wasn’t—“ Remus sputtered hopelessly as Pippa and I closed in.
“Just ask her to the ball,” I suggested. “You know she’ll say yes. Couldn’t you tell she was kind of fishing for an invite the other day? She wants you to ask her. We would know, wouldn’t we?”
Remus glanced back and forth between Pippa and I, trying to decipher if we were telling the truth or not.
“You’re sure she’d say yes?” Remus asked, letting out a sigh.
Pippa rolled her eyes as her answer and took her seat on the other side of the table again.
“You guys are relentless,” Sirius chuckled as I sat down across from him.
“Speaking of the ball,” Pippa said, turning in her seat to face me. Her blond curls swayed slightly with the movement and she brushed them off her shoulder. “Adrian asked me what color my dress was so that he could coordinate. Isn’t that sweet?”
“That was thoughtful of him,” I agreed, spotting Sirius gripping his quill abnormally tight in his hand.
“He’s been so wonderful lately,” Pippa continued to gush. “I feel like he’s really changed. I mean, you know how he used to be such a player. I feel like we’ve really connected and he’s seeing that being exclusive isn’t so bad.”
Sirius cleared his throat loudly, and I glanced over at him. He was concentrating unusually hard on his Potions book, his free hand gripping the corner of the book so hard that I was afraid he’d cut himself.
“That’s great, Pip,” I smiled at her as she rested her chin in her hand and doodled absentmindedly in the corner of her book. The tension at the table could be cut with a rusty spoon, and I was getting jumpy sitting there. I didn’t know how much more of Pippa’s gushing and Sirius’s irritation I could stand.
“I have to go hang posters for the ball,” I said standing up and collecting my things. “I’ll see you guys later.”
I walked quickly from the library, pulling a stack of flyers from my bag that I’d been lucky enough to remember. They were cut into the shape of different snowflakes, sparkling uncontrollably because of all the glitter I’d stuck to them. I was supposed to put these up ages ago, but completely forgot with all the homework I’ve had.
I walked aimlessly around the castle, sticking the glittering flyers on various bulletin boards along the way. I wandered towards the astronomy tower, although not many students passed through there, I was bored and needed to get rid of all the flyer’s I’d made.
I rounded a corner, heading back towards the main part of the castle when I heard a familiar voice. High-pitched, distressed, and unbelievably annoying; I recognized it as Holly’s shrill voice. I couldn’t quite make out what she was saying, but she sounded angry.
I walked quietly down the hall and stopped in front of a classroom with the door closed. I could clearly hear what she was saying and when I realized what she was talking about, I stopped dead in my tracks. I dropped my bag silently to the floor and not for the first time, pressed myself as close to the door as I could for optimal hearing.
“Why do we keep having the same fight, James?” Holly wailed her voice thick with tears. “All these nights that we’ve been up late talking, I thought we’d worked through everything!”
“I’m not the one who’s been fighting, Holly,” Potter said back angrily. This was the first time I’d heard him outright mad at Holly.
“Exactly!” Holly said, exasperated. “You’ve done nothing.”
“Because you’re trying to change me, Holly!” Potter shouted at her. “When was the last time I got to hang out with my friends? You disapprove of almost everything I do!”
“Not everything. What I disapprove of is you flirting with another girl while you’re allegedly with me,” Holly spat at him.
“She’s head girl. I have to talk to her. We don’t flirt,” Potter said furiously. “Not to mention she’s my friend.”
“Yes, James, she’s your friend,” Holly retorted heatedly. “So tell me why I catch you staring at her? Why I see you and her together all the time. I walk in and I feel like you guys are about to snog or something. And I know, I know, its not all you. I see how she looks at you, too. But you do nothing to dissuade her.”
“So what,” Potter said, his voice becoming flat and lifeless. “What do you want me to do? I can’t control her emotions. If she has feelings for me, that’s not something I can change.”
“Then don’t talk to her,” Holly said, hatred seeping into every word.
“What?” Potter breathed, his voice becoming animated again, clearly not believing what he had just heard.
“Don’t. Talk. To her,” Holly said, her voice shaking with intense rage. “Cut her out. Ignore her. Pretend she doesn’t exist.”
“You’re crazy,” Potter said quietly. “How can you even ask me to do something like that? She’s Head Girl, how do you think that would work?”
“If you really love me, you’ll do it. If you want this relationship to work, you’ll find a way,” Holly said, her voice full of threat.
“No,” I heard Potter say in a low, clear voice.
“What?” Holly hissed back.
“I said no,” Potter said again, his voice even stronger. “I can’t cut her out of my life.”
I felt my pulse racing in my veins. Potter was fighting for me…against Holly. It was clear that she had given him an ultimatum…and he was choosing me.
“This is over,” Potter said quietly. “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t sacrifice anything else for you. We’re done.”
“You don’t know what you’re saying,” Holly’s disbelieving voice pleaded, becoming thick with tears again. “You’re choosing her over me?”
Potter didn’t reply and I heard a sob escape from Holly. I backed away from the door, afraid that she would burst out and see me there. I grabbed my bag and hurried quietly and quickly down the hall, making sure I was out of earshot before breaking into a run.
* * * *
I spent the next two hours wandering around the castle, occasionally putting up one of the leftover flyers, but mostly distracted by my thoughts. Holly’s voice kept ringing through my head.
“You’re choosing her over me?”
Over and over and over again, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had walked around the castle at least twice and my feet were starting to hurt. I was scared to go back to the common room; I wasn’t ready to face Potter yet. I needed to compose myself before I could pretend like I hadn’t heard every word they said.
A few more minutes of deliberating and I had convinced myself to go back to my room. I was bursting at the seams; I needed to tell the Clique what I’d just heard. Unsure of where they would be, I decided that my best bet would be to use our personal book to locate them.
The common room was empty when I walking and I breathed a deep sigh of relief. I hurried into my room and scanned my bookshelves for the Clique’s book where I usually kept it.
Hmm, that’s strange. There’s my Hogwarts Confessional, but the space next to it is empty. I could have sworn I put it back but I probably just left it in the Gryffindor tower when I was there the other day having Girl Talk.
I shrugged it off and decided to just head over to Gryffindor and see if any of the Clique were there or if anything, my book.
I walked brusquely down the hall, my eyes focused on the portrait hole at the end of the hall. I didn’t even notice she was following me until she had grabbed my arm and yanked me around to face her. I stumbled over my feet at the unexpected impediment, dropping my bag on the floor. I felt a gruff hand on the front of my sweatshirt, pulling me to stand straight up.
I was face to tear-streaked face with Holly. Her mouth was quivering and I barely had time to react before she started speaking.
“Lose something?” She seethed, holding up a shaking hand that was clutched around a small black book with an “L” etched into the worn leather. The Clique’s confessional.
I grabbed for it, but Holly was quick and stepped away from me, shoving me back with the hand that was still grasping my sweatshirt.
Holly let out a piercing laugh, her light blue eyes contrasting eerily with the red that was swimming around them. She shoved the confessional in her pocket and advanced on me again.
“You’ll never believe what just happened,” Holly said, her voice hoarse from crying. “Potter just broke up with me. And it’s your fault!”
I stared at her, trying hard not to give away that I knew everything already. I stayed quiet, hoping she would mistake my silence for shock.
“Apparently he just can’t stay away from you,” Holly snarled when I didn’t answer.
“I don’t understand how it’s my fault—“ I choked out, trying to play dumb.
“Here’s the deal, Evans,” Holly growled. “Stay away from Potter.”
“You can’t tell me what to do—“ I started but she cut me off.
“Stay away from him, or all of your secrets will become public,” Holly threatened, patting the bulge in her pocket that was our confessional. “That won’t be too hard to do, will it?”
“Holly, I’m Head Girl,” I tried to warn her. “Give me the book back or you’ll be in serious trouble. Theft isn’t looked to kindly on by the professors.”
“It doesn’t matter if I give it back or not,” Holly laughed. “I’ve already read it, and I can still tell all of your secrets. But now I have the evidence I need to turn you in for creating the Hogwarts Confessionals. Believe me, you won’t go near James Potter now, will you?”
I didn’t say anything but seethed at her, completely cornered. I tried desperately to think of an argument.
“I’m sorry,” Holly said in a dangerous whisper as a smile crept onto her face. “Or did you want the entire school to know that you were the girl Adrian Austen made out with the same night he asked Pippa Birch out?”
I started to argue that that wasn’t written in the book but she cut me off again.
“Oh, I know its not written down,” Holly said, reading my thoughts. “But I was there, remember? And furthermore, I’m sure that after finding out you snogged her boyfriend, I’m sure Pippa won’t be too pleased if it gets out that she’s still in love with Sirius. After all, you’re the only one she told, right?”
My stomach clenched unpleasantly when I realized that was true.
“And Marley giving it up to Liam Lawson? Her good girl status might dramatically decrease if people knew she wasn’t as innocent as she looks,” Holly sneered, her smile growing ever bigger and maniacal. “And you know slam books like the Hogwarts Confessional is grounds for expulsion, especially since it contains so many slanderous things about people…Think about over, Evans.”
I drew in short, ragged breaths, my brain racing in circles, looking for a way out of this. Even if I got the book back, she still knows everything.
“Watch your step,” Holly breathed menacingly, taking a step towards me. “Stay away from Potter, or I will ruin you.”
I watched hopelessly as Holly turned and disappeared around the corner before I could say another word. The hall was eerily empty, my haggard breathing and frantic heart beat the only sounds I could hear. One word flashed repeatedly through my mind as I continued to stare at the place Holly had just been standing.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
A/N:Hooray hooray james broke up with holly!!!! FINALLYYY!!!!!! (I'm happy, can you tell?) So another chapter is on the way soon and the drama continues!!! I'd love to know what you all think!
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