Chapter 8 : New Romantic
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So, I have a problem. I don't really know what to do with this story right now. I'm currently suffering from what must be a major writer's block. You see, I have no idea where this story is going. I don't know how I want it to be either; my mind is completely blank.
As if this wasn't enough, I'm not sure if I'll get this story finished on time. In a couple of months I probably won't be able to write anymore, and since I'm currently having this block I'm not getting anywhere.
Should I just give up on this story right now? I hate giving up on things, and I really like this story so I don't want to. But if I'm the only one who likes it then perhaps it's not worth all this struggle. I'm just trying to make my mind up right now, and it's not easy.
Sorry for the long A/N. I'll stop my rambling. Just one more thing; this chapter is probably the lousiest I've ever written. I've tried to make it better but this is the best I could do. There were a lot of things that had to be in it, which explains why it's so messy... Just read it and I think you'll understand.
Chapter title: New Romantic by Laura Marling
The next week passed quickly, despite the amount of homework the teachers were giving us. I found myself enjoying most of the lessons; they were a lot more fun than my home schooling. Now I had my friends around me who made the time pass faster. Some classes even passed in a blur.
Muggle studies was one of those classes. James and I had loads of fun every time. He always told me things that made me laugh, and the teacher had to tell us to be quiet several times. He even threatened to give us detention one time when we couldn’t stop laughing.
Apart from my laughing fits with James, school went really well for me. I got good grades again, like I had in my first three years. Sure, it was boring at times but I was so glad to be back that it didn’t matter. Being away from my friends had affected me more than I had thought it would. Now that I was back I didn’t understand how I had managed being away from them for two years.
Of course, everything wasn’t perfect. I still had my issues, like the “Siri-situation”, as Pauline had named it when had I told the girls about what had happened. None of them understood his temporary lack of logic either. It was a mystery to all of us.
Pauline had a theory that his hormones had given him a blackout.
“He’s a teenage guy, you know” she had said.
I wasn’t too sure about that, but I couldn’t come up with anything else that could be the reason for his weird behaviour either. So I just let go of it, not wanting to dwell and ponder about something I would never solve. It had happened and that was it. It was not my fault; I hadn’t been the one who had started this weird… whatever it was. I had no reason what so ever to think about it.
I had seen him several times after our awkward conversation, and things hadn’t really got much better between us. We talked a bit to each other when we met, but both of us were still embarrassed by our first encounter. I guess it would take some time before we would feel comfortable around each other. I didn’t care though; I was just glad for the space he was giving me.
One thing was bugging me though; after our incident I had began thinking a lot about him. I caught myself looking for him as I entered the great hall, and sometimes I stared at him in class. I had even dreamt of him a couple of times and I couldn’t understand why. I wasn’t interested in him; I had just begun noticing him all the time. Perhaps it had something to do with the attention he had given me. Maybe I just wanted that attention again.
It was a bit confusing, but I tried not to think about him too much. Like I said, I had my issues, and the “Siri-situation” wasn’t the only one.
There was Lucas, for example, or “Luke” as I was supposed to call him. After his pathetic attempt of a conversation I had begun to see him everywhere. It was bugging me. Had he really been there all the time? Either he had or he was stalking me. I wasn’t sure but I hoped and believed in the first one.
He always said hello, and often came up to talk to me. His friends would stand behind him, sniggering and whispering to each other. I swear, they were acting like a bunch of teenage girls. Luke didn’t even seem to notice them. He was too busy flirting with me. Yes, even I could tell that he was flirting. It was so obvious that even professor Slughorn would have noticed it. It was actually on the edge of sickening. The other day he had called my name in the corridor and jogged up to me.
“Hey, how are you?” he asked.
“I’m fine” I said distractedly, continuing to walk. I wasn’t really in the mood of talking. I just wanted to sit in front of the fire in the common room and read a good novel I had borrowed from the library.
“Great! Are you on your way to class?”
“No, I have a free period.”
“Me too! Do you want to take a walk?” he asked and smiled.
“Er… it’s a bit cold outside today and I don’t have any gloves here. I’d have to get them first” I said, trying to avoid answering. I really didn’t feel like taking a walk right now.
“Well, that’s not a problem. Just hold my hand and I’ll keep you warm” he said and grinned.
I felt my eyes widen. “Uh…” I frantically tried to come up with something to say. He was smiling hopefully at me, and I didn’t want to turn him down. I had nothing against him; it was just that I didn’t feel like taking a ‘romantic walk’ right now. It was bloody cold.
Luckily, one of his friends saved me.
“OI! Luke! Are you coming to the quidditch pitch or not?”
He opened his mouth to answer and I was sure he would say no to his friends, so I began talking before he could.
“It’s fine” I said hurriedly. “You should go with your friends. I have some homework to do anyway.”
He looked a bit disappointed first but then smiled. “Okay, that’s fine. We can do it some other time anyway.”
After that he said goodbye and walked away with his friends. I let out a breath of relief and hurried to the common room.
The flirting in that conversation had been pretty obvious, yeah. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Luke, and the flirting didn’t really make it easier for me to decide. He was cute and nice, but sometimes he was a bit too much. Like when he had said that thing about holding hands. His confidence was almost a bit too good sometimes, and I wasn’t sure whether I liked that or not.
But he seemed to care about me, and I hadn’t seen him flirting with other girls. Perhaps he actually was interested. I had no idea. I was very confused.
The girls said that he ‘totally liked me’, and I guess I should listen to them. They were, after all, the ones with experience.
But I still didn’t know if I liked him. I tried to figure it out but hadn’t managed it yet. If he asked me out, which the girls were sure he would, then I would have to see then. It would be easier once I got to know him, I think.
And then there was Sam… What was it with me and weird conversations with guys?
I hadn’t told my friends about him, so they didn’t understand a thing when he suddenly plopped down next to me at breakfast one day.
“Good morning, Rowle” he said and grinned. “Had any staring contests with statues lately?”
“Hi Sam” I said, fully aware that my friends were staring at me, probably wondering what the hell was going on. I ignored his question. “This is Sam” I said to my friends. “I… uh, met him in the corridor the other day.”
Sam snorted. “Met? That’s bullshit” he smirked, before turning to my friends. “I caught her staring at a weird looking statue” he told them casually as he grabbed a piece of toast.
He left out the crying part, which I was thankful for. But I sent him a glare for telling them; now they would ask me lots of questions that I didn’t really feel like answering.
“So Sam” I said loudly before he would say something stupid. “Why are you sitting here and not at your table?”
He rolled his eyes. “Gee, are we nice today or what?” he said sarcastically. “I just thought I’d check on you; you know, make sure you’re okay.”
He was dangerously close to give away what had happened, and I could see that my friends were suspicious. They probably wondered why a guy they didn’t know suddenly seemed to be good friends with me.
“I’m fine; though I’m not sure about the statue. I won the contest, you know” I said, trying to be humorous.
He raised his eyebrows. “Er, no you didn’t.”
“Yes I did” I said stubbornly.
“No you didn’t. You turned away when I talked to you.”
My friends’ eyes were wide as they were staring at us, probably thinking I had gone mental after meeting this guy.
“Well” I said, trying to come up with something to say. “It’s a statue; it can’t win.”
“Of course it can win! It’s a statue! It doesn’t move or blink” he said and I knew I had lost, but for some reason I wouldn’t admit it.
“But…” I began, but Pauline cut me off.
“OKAY!” she yelled. “Enough about that bloody statue. Do you two even know each other?” she asked, looking confused.
“Uh…” I began. “No?”
Sam shook his head. “Nah, not really.”
This only made Pauline look more confused. “Oh-kaaay” she said slowly.
Sam nodded, completely unaware of the tone in Pauline’s voice. “Yep” he said, before taking a bite of his toast.
Pauline only stared at him, looking completely bewildered. Sam seemed unaware of this too. He was just sitting there, chewing on his toast and smiling happily at us. I shook my head and silently wondered if he was doing this on purpose or not. If he wasn’t then my theory about him being mental began making more and more sense.
The whole situation was rather funny; Pauline, Lily and Julie were staring at Sam, wondering who the bloody hell he was and why he was acting so weird while Sam himself was sitting there and eating his toast as if the situation was completely normal.
Suddenly Sam spoke up. “Well girls, as nice as chatting with you is I have to go. Kaelyn?” he said and turned to me. “Don’t stare yourself do death, okay?”
I smiled and nodded. “Promise.”
He gave me the thumbs up before walking over to the Ravenclaw table. I turned back to my friends, waiting for them to bomb me with questions.
“Who in the name of Merlin” Pauline began almost breathlessly “was that?”
I smirked. “That was Sam.”
“How did you meet him?” Julie asked.
“Do you even know each other?” Lily asked suspiciously before I could answer Julie’s question.
“Why was he so bloody weird?” Pauline said, her eyebrows raised.
Julie was about to open her mouth and ask something else when I waved my hands.
“Guys, please. Calm down. I met Sam in the corridor the other day, just like he said” I explained. “I don’t really know him, but he’s easy to talk to and he seems nice, even though he is a bit weird” I continued as I turned to Pauline. “Which answers your question. I’ve wondered if he’s insane but I think he’s just a bit weird.”
Pauline rolled her eyes. “A bit? He seemed bloody mental.”
“I think he seemed nice” Julie said and smiled at me. I smiled back, happy that she was taking my side.
“Nice, yeah, but who isn’t?” Lily said, still suspicious. “I’ve seen him before but I don’t really know anything about him. I’m just worried about you Kaelyn. It’s hard to trust people these days.”
She was probably referring to what was happening outside of the castle; how Voldemort was gathering more and more followers each day. People had begun disappearing and there had been a couple of deaths too.
“Lily, Sam isn’t a death eater. He’s just a loony guy; that’s all” I said, defending my new friend.
Lily bit her lip. “You’re probably right. I’m sorry; it’s just that I worry about you. I don’t want you to get more hurt.”
“I’ll be fine” I said and smiled reassuringly. “It’s just nice to meet some new friends.”
“Well, he’s still mental to me” Pauline said and grinned. “But if you want to hang out with him then that’s fine with me.”
“Yeah, he made you smile and laugh, and that’s not always easy” Julie added.
I smiled, happy that they accepted him. Normally I would be annoyed if people told me who to hang out with and who to like, but I knew my friends were just looking out for me. I felt a lump in my stomach when I realised that Nathan had been the over protective one before. Now my friends had taken over that role, but it actually felt kind of good. I knew that I always had someone who would back me up if I got into trouble.
The emptiness my brother had left behind was still there, but it was getting easier to live with for each day. My friends made a big difference for me, and making new ones made me feel better too. The more people I had to help me fill the emptiness, the better.
I knew that I would never feel entirely complete again, but I was also certain that it would only get easier. I couldn’t feel sad for my entire life; at some point it would have to change. It was already happening; I could feel myself feeling better and better gradually, but it would definitely take some time before I could call myself happy again.
I guess that was part of it, though. I mean, if we didn’t get affected by losing the ones we are close to, then we wouldn’t really care much about them, would we?
Like a coin, everything has two sides. That’s why nothing is perfect. It’s the same thing with love; it’s both good and bad. Sometimes it’s more bad than good, and you don’t know how to flip the coin. But after a while you figure it out, and things get better, even though the coin flips back every now and then. It’s just part of life; being happy all the time is impossible.
As the weeks passed, the fact that a Hogsmeade weekend was coming up was becoming painfully clear. It seemed as if every student at the school (well, at least the ones who were permitted to go) were close to bursting with excitement. I wasn’t that hyped about it.
I loved Hogsmeade; it had nothing to do with that. Ever since I had entered the village the first time I had developed a strong liking for it. There were so many nice shops and cosy cafés. And there was always something to do; it was impossible to be bored in Hogsmeade. At least that was what I thought.
So why wasn’t I looking forward to it as much as I had before? I mean, I hadn’t been there for two years, and I missed the village. I missed sitting in a booth at the Three Broomsticks with my friends, drinking butterbeer and I missed shopping tons of candy at Honeydukes. I was looking forward to doing that again.
It was just… I was probably not going with my friends this time, and it made me nervous. They were sure that Luke was going to ask me out, and I was starting to believe them. He had talked to me ever more during the weeks that had passed, and we had hung out several times.
We often sat in the library together, helping each other with homework. Well, it was mostly Luke that helped me, seeing as he was in his seventh year and had already done the essays I was writing. But my point is that he had shown even more interest than before. Even I could tell that he wanted something.
I couldn’t really say that I knew him well, but I knew more about him now than I did a couple of weeks before. Still, our conversations were always light, since we had just met. I was looking forward to getting to know him better.
I would definitely say yes if he asked, but a part of me wished he wouldn’t. I was scared, I guess. I had never been on a date, and didn’t know how to behave on one.
A date with Luke would be exciting and scary, and going with my friends would be easier. I liked Luke; he seemed like a nice guy. My nervousness had nothing to do with him. It was just the fact that it was something new to me that scared me.
But I wasn’t going to let my fear prevent me from having fun; I was sure that no matter who I would end up going with, I would enjoy the day as much as I possibly could.
My fear, or hope, whatever it was, that Luke would ask me out turned out to be true. A couple of days into the week he asked me if I wanted to go with him.
We were sitting in the library, studying together. He was helping me with my Charms essay and even though we were doing school work I found myself having fun.
“So Kaelyn” he suddenly said, as I was looking up something in my book. “I guess you’ve heard that it’s a Hogsmeade weekend this week.”
I felt butterflies in my stomach as I heard his words, and chose to respond with a nod.
“I was just wondering if you’d like to go with me?” he said and smiled, looking hopeful.
“Er, yes” I answered, managing to smile despite my nervousness, “I’d love to.”
His smile grew broader. “Awesome. I’ll meet up with you after breakfast, yeah?”
After that we went back to our studying, none of us saying anything. I felt a bit uncomfortable but I guess that was just part of it. The whole going out on a date thing.
We continued studying for a while before he announced that he had to leave. He gathered his things and kissed me lightly on the cheek before he left. My cheeks burnt several minutes after he had gone, and I was sure that my face was rather red.
It wasn’t until I left the library that I really realised it; I was going on my first date. My first date ever. The panic grew in me as I thought of it. Luke had surely been on a date before, so I would be the only one who wouldn’t know what to do or say. I’d be the beginner, the one with lack of experience.
I was going on my first date, and I had no idea how I was supposed to act.
Merlin help me.
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