Chapter 8 : Enough
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I woke up early on Monday for some reason. James and Remus were still fast asleep and by the sound of the loud snoring of the lump of covers over at Peter’s bed, he was too.
I got up and headed to the bathrooms. By the time I was dressed Stephan and Remus were waking up. I decided to wait for them in the common room so I threw my pillow at James to wake him up, might as well have thrown a book for all the good it did, and headed downstairs.
The Common room was empty except for a few sixth years and Lily.
“What’s new Red?” I greeted her waiting for her wise crack to follow as I sat down.
She didn’t even look up from her book, “Your head’s still up your arse Black!”
I laughed. Her temper was about as fiery as her hair. James was in deep shit if those two ever became an item.
I wondered if Cappie was up early so we could grab some breakfast but chances are she’d probably sleep till the last minute with no Lily to be her personal alarm. I smiled at the thought and put my feet up on the stool nearby.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Lily give me one her “immature-boy!” look but I ignored her. Remus came down the stairs tying his tie at which point I remembered I’d forgotten mine. Hmm...ah what the heck!
“James said he’s gonna be a while and Peter’s still sleeping? Do you wanna go down or you wanna wait?”
“Let’s go, I’m starving!” I jumped to my feet and picked up my bag.
“Bye Lily” said Remus, he just had to be polite.
She smiled at him and gave me a death glare to which I grinned wider.
Sitting at the Gryffindor Table at breakfast I had just finished adding the last touches to my Defence essay when someone clapped their hands over my eyes. Blindsided literally, I found myself holding my quill as away from the parchment as possible to avoid any ink stains on the essay I spent half an hour on last night.
“Err...” I was lost. I knew it wasn’t Cappie cos I know her voice and besides she’s not into these games.
It wasn’t Charlie because she was only interested in broom-closet kissing.
The hands slipped off my face and I blinked turning to see who it was.
Oh thank Merlin I remembered her name, her smile definitely widened at that!
I consulted my memory. Didn’t we break up last year? She wanted the break up, what was she doing here?
“So what’s up, stud?” she sat next to me on the bench with her legs on the other side, resting her elbows on the table.
I raised my eyebrow questioningly.
“What do you want Tess?” I wasn’t really in the mood for games.
“Relax, I’m not looking for a rebound. You must have heard David and I broke up. He was being such a baby!” she flipped her dark hair. Remus and I exchanged a look and I suppressed a smile returning to my essay.
“It’s my friend Rebecca’s sweet sixteen tomorrow, so we’re throwing a party in the Ravenclaw common room. You are invited of course! But...” she lowered her voice leaning closer to me “I’m gonna need your help getting some contraband items!” she raised her thin eyebrows to make sure I caught her drift.
Of course, we could use an excuse to break out of school after hours to buy Firewhiskey. I nodded.
“Consider it done! We’re running low on supplies ourselves”
She smiled that signature coy smile of hers. “I knew you’d come through!” she pecked a kiss onto my cheek and got up.
“You should come too if you’re free Remus”
“Love to” Remus said shortly. I suppressed a laugh again, only those who were really close to Remus could tell the subtle difference when he was sarcastic.
“See you at the party!” Tess winked at us and wandered off to her table. I watched her leave, knowing she liked it and returned to my essay.
Something hard knocked against my head and I looked up just in time to see a tall girl walking by on her way out of the hall, her nose in the air carrying her obviously heavy bag. Her long dark brown curls swung in harmony with her hips.
I smiled to myself. That’s Charlie, she’s pissed.
Charlie left the hall throwing the doors wide open and Cappie walked in with her friends Emma and Nora.
She looked grumpy, probably sleep deprived. I chuckled as she wrinkled her nose when Nora dumped oatmeal onto her plate.
Cappie wasn’t like most girls I spent my time with. What you see is what you get with her.
She doesn’t like to pretend to be someone she’s not, I love that about her.
Probably one of the many reasons she’s one of my best friends. I could tell her anything and she would hear me out and understand.
I’d never do anything to screw up that friendship which is why Emma and Nora are untouchables; they were close friends with Cappie.
Lily was out of bounds for a whole other reason.
Emma looked up and saw me looking over at them. I returned to my essay but had barely written two words when I heard two familiar voices enter the Great Hall.
“Come on Lily, just a drink?”
“I will personally BUY you a dictionary for your birthday JUST TO COMMUNICATE THE WORD ‘NO’ TO YOU!” Lily yelled
“It’s one word, one syllable that means I STRONGLY DECLINE!” she turned on her heel and her red hair whipped James in the face as she walked over to her friends.
“Hello boys” James said cheerily as he walked over to us and sat down beside Remus. Nothing Lily said ever managed to break that boy’s spirit.
I yawned for the third time. Yes, I liked Defence Against the Dark Arts but I wished we were learning something more interesting than Pogrebins.
They were a demon of sorts with a large grey head that looked like a rock. They had their fun by tailing people for a few hours which made them feel an overwhelming sense of despair or remorse and by devouring them when they started to cry their heart out.
All you had to do to get rid of those pests was to send a well aimed stunning spell.
Simple. Easy. Boring.
Cappie wrote something down on her book next to me. I turned to look at her. I loved making her laugh during a silent class by making faces at her. She blushed a lovely colour when the whole class turned to look at her. It was funny to watch. I usually got a kick or an elbow in the ribs in return but it was always worth it.
She was busy copying down... whatever the last sentence was to leave Professor Warrack’s mouth.
I pulled out a page from my book and set to work. When I was done I had an origami paper cat sitting on my hand. I jabbed it gently with my wand under the table and it came to life, tilting its paper head and blinking its large ink eyes.
Cappie turned her head slightly towards me with a questioning glance and I dropped the cat onto her lap. It climbed soundlessly up her arm and stretched realistically on a page of her book looking up at her and blinking.
She smiled at the cat then turned to me and whispered “Cute! Can I keep it?”
“Thanks!” she grinned.
“What are you going to name it?”
“Dunno? Is it a him or her?”
“Mr. Black! Would you kindly repeat to the class what I was just explaining?” Professor Warrack’s eyes were on me. Hmm... No idea.
Remus shoved his notes in my direction silently.
“Errm, you were explaining that the demon’s protective mechanism is to simply crouch holding the knees together so that people will tend to think it’s simply a rock because of its head...Sir” I added as an afterthought and waited.
“Let’s hope Mr. Lupin gets a chance to share his answers with you during your OWL papers too” he gave me well-earned disapproving look and returned to the board.
I sighed bored out of my mind.
It was night time.
I checked my watch. 7.30pm
An hour past curfew. Three Broomsticks should be packed with locals by now.
James and I grabbed the invisibility cloak and headed down the stairs to the common room. Remus didn’t allow Peter to join us since he hadn’t finished his essays and was about to land a Late-Submission Detention.
Remus was always the warden of our dormitory. Making sure we did our homework on time, making sure we stayed out of trouble... well the kind that would get us killed at least.
Good thing too, we were all too wicked and impish for our own good.
Huh. Maybe Red has a point... oh well.
Both of us crouched low so there won’t be two highly suspicious pairs of ankles walking around the third floor corridor.
“Oh man, I hate this walk it’s never-ending!” James complained as we walked along the earthen passageway from the One-Eyed Crone’s to Honeydukes.
“Yeah once we manage transformation though, with our new speed this will be nothing”
“Oh yeah!” James said excitedly. I was also looking forward to our trial transformation next week with anticipation and apprehension.
We reached the cellar in less than twenty minutes and pushed it open quietly. The shop above was quiet, they were almost closing. We crept quietly and grabbed several boxes of chocolates and sweets and loaded up on Remus’ favourite hazelnut chocolate since he’s gonna need it, come full moon.
In no time at all we had dropped the bag of sickles to pay for our ‘borrowed goods’ and left Honeydukes through the back door. We pulled the cloak back on and crept along the back of the sweet shop, past Dervish and Banges and arrived at Three Broomsticks.
James pulled off the cloak and knocked on the back door. There was the distinctive sound of high-heels on wood and the door creaked open.
Rosmerta, (we dropped calling her Madam long ago) stood there in her turquoise heels and deep blue short dress that accented her hips and slim waist. She wiped her hands on her white apron and looked at us with a disapproving glare that didn’t quite have the effect she hoped since a knowing smile was twisting at the corner of her mouth.
“What trouble have you lot got yourselves into now? Where’re the other two?”
“Rosmerta darling, we’d love to chat... tea, cakes the whole shebang but I’m afraid we’re in a bit of a hurry!” I said stepping into the warmth of the little inn.
She loved being adored, it was easy to tell.
She was a kind woman a few good years older than ourselves with a positive take on rule-breaking as long as it did no harm, which of course worked well for us!
“And what makes you think I’m selling my stock to rule-breakers like you twos?”
James gave her his best smile. “Because you’re our favourite barmaid and even if we could get Butterbeers for half prize at Hog’s we always come to you”
Rosmerta blushed as she laughed and shoved James away playfully.
“You lot will have me in trouble one of these days!”
“Us? Never!” we said together grinning.
“Alright! Alright! What’s it you need? How many Butterbeers” she pulled out a small book from her pocket and picked the quill feather from her hair ready to take down the order.
“Ten Butterbeers and 5 bottles of Firewhiskey” James recited.
Rosmerta closed the book and looked up again “Firewhiskey!? Well, turn seventeen and look me up then wont ya?”
She was ready to close the door on our faces when I stepped in.
“Oh no no! it’s not for us. The Butterbeer, that’s for us but the Firewhiskey that’s for.... err... the... the Slug club! Yes! Professor Slughorn’s having a Slug Party this week so he needs the Firewhiskey. And Rosmerta...” I leaned to her with my best saddened downcast expression and lowered my voice as if worried someone would overhear “well we haven’t been doing well with our Potions this year, all this Quidditch training has been a lot to handle!”
I sighed heavily “so we were really hoping we could give Slughorn a few bottles and convince him to give us another chance. That’s not a crime now is it?”
I could see her debating with herself whether or not to believe my story
“Oh alright! I’ll never get rid of you without them anyway!”
She walked over to the back her heels clunking along the way.
“We’ve got a few Sixty Fives and Sixty fours”
“Five of the Sixty Fives Rosita!” she loved that nickname we gave her last year although she’ll never admit it.
“Don’t call me that! Dumbledore ordered two of those ‘65s how about I add two ‘64s?”
“No, the Sixty Four’s absolute piss!”
James elbowed me hard in the ribs.
“I mean that’s great! With a Sixty Four it’s hard to miss!” I amended quickly.
We paid for the bottles we bought and with a last joke and wave goodbye headed back through the cold night to the Honeydukes cellar.
“Cappie come on, we promised we’d bring the drinks early!” I called up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory. Lily made an impatient sound into the book she was reading by the fire. She didn’t really approve of loud parties, especially ones that involved hoodwinking the teachers.
I decided taking my best friend to the party is probably the best course to avoid ex-girlfriend drama.
I heard footsteps on the stairs and turned to see Cappie coming down. She wore a light purple cardigan over a white top and simple jeans.
“Ok Ok! let’s go!” she pushed the sleeves of her cardigan back to her elbows. She looked positively adorable. Close up she even had some make up on I think, a matching light purple streak across her eyelids.
“What?” she asked me.
I smiled and shook my head.
“Nothing, you clean up good!”
She made a face, “You sound surprised”. Her eyebrows gathered to a frown. I laughed as her nose scrunched up making her look even more cute.
I put my arm around her and pulled her close. “I’m not, can we go now?”
We grabbed a few bottles of Firewhiskey (saving the best for ourselves) and headed out the portrait hole.
“You both better be back before curfew!” Lily called.
I didn’t notice I still had my arm around her till she pulled away to switch the box of Butterbeer onto her other arm. We climbed up the spiralling staircase and reached the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower. The large mahogany door had a large bronze knocker on it shaped like the head of an eagle.
I knocked it twice on the hard wood and waited for the riddle.
Ravenclaw sure liked to show off.
“What is that which when closed is silent but once opened offers the worlds of past, present and future to its bearer?”
I turned to Cappie who looked blankly at me. She smiled and whispered “Maybe you can call one of your ex girlfriends to open the door?”
I smirked at her “Hey, we Gryffindors aren’t idiots! Watch...” I turned back to the door.
“That which when closed is silent but once opened offers universal knowledge is a book”
“Indeed it is” the door’s melodious voice spoke and I slung my arm once more over Cappie’s shoulder with a fresh smirk.
“Very Impressive Mr. Black!” she smiled and nodded as we entered the Ravenclaw common room.
Loud music filled the room. Someone hurried to close the door behind us.
“BOOZE IS HERE!”
Another yelled and a few people hurried to relieve us of our burden. The Firewhiskey bottles were opened in quick succession making small sparks fly across the room.
Large multicoloured banners hung on the walls flashing different colours all wishing an evidently popular Rebecca, a happy birthday.
My eyes scanned the room, some girls I recognised, some I didn’t, some friendly, some not so much.
It was all a fantastic colourful blur. The study tables were topped with bowls of Jelly slugs, Bertie Bott’s beans and Ice mice, bottles and bottles of Butterbeer and Firewhiskey and large boxes of Fizzing Whizzbees and Peppermint Toads.
Someone had charmed the lamps to flash different colours and a large crystal ball floated across the room above the heads of the crowd below throwing spots of light on the walls and the sugar spirited teens dancing to the music. I was just thinking of getting drinks for Cappie and myself when...
“Capri! Hey!” a voice said to my left and I turned sharply to see a boy around the same height as me head toward us parting through the crowd.
“Jason!” Cappie’s voice got strangely high making me glance at her “Oh my God! I totally forgot you’d be here!” she smiled warmly at him. He seemed familiar, I wondered where I’d seen him before.
“I’m really glad you came!” he said over the music “come on I’ll introduce you to my friends” he held out a hand and without a second thought Cappie took it and had soon disappeared into the large crowd.
I shoved my hands into my pocket and looked around.
“Hello gorgeous” I turned behind me to see a black haired girl sitting on the arm rest of one of the armchairs. I gave her polite smile.
She waited which meant I was supposed to compliment her on something.
Her smile stretched, there we go!
“Thanks! It was a gift from the Minister of Magic of Hungary”
Ahh that’s the conversation she wanted to have.
“Impressive” I nodded. She handed me a glass of Firewhiskey.
“Glad you came, lemme introduce you around” she stood up and pulled my hand leading me though the crowd “not that anyone here doesn’t know who you are” she turned back and winked at me.
I was then introduced to Kevin her new boyfriend, Radha, Chantal and Haley her minions, Dennis her best friend’s boyfriend and finally the birthday girl, Rebecca.
I sat with them but for some reason my eyes often strayed toward the oddly familiar Jason character who’s company Cappie seemed to be enjoying very much by the look of her wide smile and laughter.
Cappie sat with Jason and his other friends as they played games, drank shots and laughed at incomprehensible jokes, not so different from Tess’ friends.
Yet I watched Cappie and Jason with something close to resentment which surprised me because I didn’t know why I felt that way.
I had already downed two bottles of Butterbeer and four glasses of firewhiskey while I sat with people I didn’t know making conversation and having fun playing games but every time my eyes fell on Cappie and saw her grinning face as she talked to Jason Wanker Something I felt a chaotic burning in my soul, a recklessness and the urge to punch something.
I got up suddenly and the girl who was sitting beside me slid to the floor in surprise.
“Hey! Where are you going?” Tess turned to me and freed herself from her boyfriend once I started parting through the crowd heading for the door.
“Hey!” she held my hand and pulled me back “it’s rude to leave a party without thanking the host!” she said crossly.
“I’m sorry” when I turned to her my face held an unknown expression that made her relax the persistent grip on my sleeve and I pulled it out of her grasp “I have to go, thanks for inviting me”
I hurried out of the Ravenclaw common room down the staircase. I kept walking in long strides. It was nearly 11.30 if I got caught I’d surely land a detention so I took a short cut through one of the drapes to avoid Filch’s psycho cat.
Soon I had arrived at the seventh floor and was walking toward the Fat Lady’s Portrait. As I entered the common room I suddenly became aware that I was breathing deeply, my throat was dry and my mind was swimming.
Why did it bother me so much that Cappie had forgotten about me completely in the presence of someone I’d never even heard her mention before?
Did it really matter to me who Cappie spends her time with? I had no right to interfere with that, so why should I care.
I couldn’t fathom it.
Cappie went out with many guys last year, but she always stayed my close friend.
I was always more important to her than her come and go boyfriends exactly like how she was so much more important to me than any girlfriend past present or future.
Jason was changing that, and I did not like it.
But I never offered her anything more than friendship, I had no right to stand in the way of someone who did.
She was my best friend.
Stop lying fool. She’s more than that... always has been.
No. She’s my best friend. I can’t risk losing her by complicating things for her.
It’s just simpler... easier this way. I can’t lose her.
One way or another, you’re going to lose her to someone else.
No sport nor girl will manage to fill that void.
No. I won’t let it happen.
She’ll always be my friend.
But is that enough?...
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