A/N: OK, so another chapter. This is the first new chapter of 2009 for me, so that’s all very exciting. As I said, we’re not quite at the same time. You all haven’t even finished Valentine’s Day on Mixed Messages yet over in harrypotterfanfiction time! Anyway, I hope you liked the introduction of a new character and don’t worry, I have surprising twists and turns for him!
Note from just before Validation: Wow, a whole year ago! Just shows how well prepared I am! So sorry for the long delay for the last chapter again, I feel awful! And thank you so much dj for informing me that I put the chapter in the wrong story!
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
- Jane Glidewell
The last thing I thought of when entering the castle was that I was actually going to manage to avoid George for the whole weekend. And yet, somehow, it happened. I was naturally taken care of in every way possible by everyone else. Amy was the worse, who was convinced that I was dying and kept trying to convince me to drink something called Calpol.Let me tell you, that’s not something that you do twice. Muggles are such odd people.
Luckily, we got distracted when we discovered that our High Inquisitor had issued another Educational Decree. And, though I really never cared less what she had to say in the past, she was really on our arse this time. There must have been some kind of tattle tale around, as it said that all organisations had to actually be approved by Umbridge herself. The woman just seems to think of every way possible to make us absolutely hate her.
“I say we do it anyway,” stated Magda passionately.
“Have you not read the last sentence or something?” said Amy wisely - Merlin, I hate her when she’s wise. “It says right there that ‘Any student found to have formed, or to belong to, an organisation, society, team, group or club that has not been approved by the High Inquisitor will be expelled.’ Expelled!.”
“Yes, but that’s just if we get found out.”
“Magda makes an excellent point,” I commented.
“No, she makes a ridiculous one.”
Bella just looked at the bored incredulously, her blank gaze almost hinting that she wasn’t paying attention to the notice at all. I watched her for a moment before looking around me to see if anything might have set her off. And there we had it - Seamus Finnegan was just metres away from us, trying to look at the board himself. Of course, Bella was lucky enough not to know what me and Amy did, that Seamus was actually lusting over her own friend. Amy also noticed Seamus, but immediately spun around and decided to pretend not to notice. But how long was she actually going to go and pretend that she didn’t care about him? I mean, it definitely wasn’t as if Bella and Magda weren’t going to see that she was acting odd. Before you know it, they’re asking questions and then they’re never talking to me again, because that’s just how it ends up. If that’s the case, then I’ll never speak to Amy, because I got in trouble for no reason, and then I’d have to find new friends. Oh, damn you, Amy!
“I say we run,” whispered Amy from the corner of her mouth.
Laughing to cover up my nervousness, I replied, “All right.” I then said loudly, “Well, I think we should quit moping. We have History of Magic, after all.”
“You’d rather sit with Binns than discuss whether or not we should join a revolutionary group?”
Shrugging my shoulders, I saw that Seamus still hadn’t left. Maybe he’s actually waiting for her. “I just think our education’s important.”
Bella raised her eyebrow at me. “Really?” Don’t look at me for too long or I’ll probably crack.
“Really…?” I couldn’t help but end it as a question, my tone filled with anxiety.
“I think I should go, too,” said Amy quickly, grabbing hold of my arm.
“Of course, you know as well as I do we should leave this,” insisted Bella. She then turned to me again. “But why are you in such a hurry?”
Oh, come on! Why am I the one who’s getting the third degree? This is Amy’s secret I’m keeping here! And stupid Amy doesn’t seem eager to defend me, because she obviously doesn’t know that if I’m going down, I’m dragging her down with me - she won’t even see it coming.
Standing my ground, I said, “It’s not like I’m abandoning it, or something. I just think that we should take a break, and get some education.”
“Hey, Seamus,” said Magda casually, nudging Bella in the arm. Bella then stood up straight, but I noticed that one of her eyes were still on me. Great, he could possibly be the only distraction, and he isn’t even good enough to get her off my case.
“Hey, guys. You heading over to History of Magic now?”
Bella said, “Yes, we were just talking about how we needed some education.”
“No, we weren’t.”
Turning towards me once more with a bewildered expression, she asked, “No?”
“Well, me and Amy weren’t. We’re too outraged by this decree to go just yet. But you guys can go on ahead.”
Seamus clearly wasn’t happy, but all I can say is take that! I was about to turn to Amy to look smug, but I saw there was something that could almost be depicted as disappointment on her face. But she can’t, can she? Amy can’t seriously be developing some feelings for Seamus? Bella’s Seamus? Well, Bella’s ex-Seamus, but nevertheless. Bella would go ballistic if anything happened between Amy and Seamus. And what would Cedric have said - stupid, Anne, how could you forget?
Why is no one else revolting? Harry’s bird - whose name I don’t know - is wounded! The most beautiful bird in the whole world has been injured. It’s an outrage! It’s immoral! It’s -
“Get over it, Anne. Owls get injured all the time.”
I snorted while walking out of History of Magic with Amy. I mean, my cries of injustice did make the subject a little more interesting today. Usually I just try and throw small pieces of parchment at Mr Binns and try and shoot it through his head. And, me and Amy had to be even more careful because Seamus kept trying to make eye contact with her, but Bella thought it was at her.
What’s that I hear knocking? Drama.
And next was Potions. I really cannot stand Potions; it’s probably more than anyone can actually bear. I mean, Binns then Snape? What is this? Some programme to break down the students’ spirits? I have no doubt that Umbridge would recommend something similar. It’s too bad that I plan to rise above it.
“Harry’s there! I might ask him how his owl is...”
I took a couple of steps, but I didn’t hear anyone behind me. I turned around to see that nobody was coming with me. They were all just standing there, almost in shock. “What?”
“You do realise what you’re doing?
“Maybe she’s Imperiused!”
“What are you on about?” I demanded.
“You were just about the walk up to Harry Potter... without us dragging you. And not to gawp, but to actually start a conversation!”
At first I just laughed it off, but then I thought about it for a moment and I almost died. “Are you kidding me? You almost let me go through with that? I’m going to -”
We turned around to see what all the commotion was about and there was Neville, throwing his arms out and actually attempting to knock Draco, if it wasn’t for the fact that Harry was holding him back - he’s very strong, you know. However, eventually Ron had to come as well to help out, but it wasn’t long before Snape came out to deduct points.
I couldn’t help but notice that Draco had a smug expression on his face, even though the only reason he didn’t get attacked was because other people were holding Neville back - for reasons I can’t really see at the moment. Then again, I think I’ve lost enough points in one lifetime for Gryffindor.
When we entered the classroom, we were actually mere inches away from Draco and his two ‘pals’. While Snape’s back was turned, Magda indignantly said, “Whatever he tried to attack you for, I bet you deserved it.”
“Run along,” snarled Draco. Oh, very intimidating. I’m just terrified now. Magda raised her head in the air proudly and continued to walk on. Draco watched her walk away carefully, and grinned as he did so. For a moment, I grabbed onto Amy and motioned for her to watch Draco’s gaze on her - which was strong for a whole minute. But it couldn’t be; Draco Malfoy wasn’t checking out Magda - our Magda - right? Because that’s just plain gross, and rather disturbing. I’ll warn Magda later.
We then spotted a certain toad-face with her clipboard. Oh result. Umbridge vs. Snape. That would certainly be a show down. I could imagine it now. Umbridge would throw a kitten at him while he blocked it with a layer of hair grease... Snape would kick arse, as much as I would hate to admit that Snape was capable of winning anything. Still, it was certainly going to be interested. I’m sure everyone else agreed, as hardly anyone was actually focusing on the Strengthening Solution, and I wouldn’t blame them. Who really cared about such trivial things? It would probably be best that it was wiped out from the syllabus, and we could learn about a useful potion, like a draught to kill Draco Malfoy.
And it certainly was. Though it seemed as if Umbridge was certainly getting a few shots in. She was mainly focusing on how many times he was refused the post of Defence Aginst the Dark Arts teacher. If it wasn’t Umbridge, it would have been hilarious.
“Anne,” said Amy, tugging on my sleeve.
“What is it?” I moaned. It was just getting interesting and there she is.
“You have to hide me.”
“Why?” I’m not helping her avoid Seamus all day, if that’s what she was thinking.
“Blast from the past. He’s waiting for me outside of the dungeon.”
“You never knew him. He was a friend of Cedric’s, though. He’s called Drew and he -”
“Him?” Damn it, I knew that he would find me soon enough. Hopefully, he would just hunt down Amy and ignore the fact that I was here. But hold it, why would he be after Amy?
“You know him?” asked Amy in surprise.
“I’ve seen him around,” I muttered in response. I was hardly going to tell her that I met him in rodent form a couple of days back after running away from the world and all the problems it caused me, now was I?
Nodding slowly, Amy then said, “Well, after class, just make sure that he doesn’t come after me.”
Even though what she said wasn’t harsh in anyway, I still couldn’t help but feel slightly offended. After all, he could be after me, you know. I was the one who met him a couple of days ago. And he wanted to get to know me then. Why would he suddenly be after Amy? Did she just assume that he would never want to meet me again? Although, a better question was, why didn’t she want to see him?
“So why are you avoiding him?”
“Just complications.” She then muttered darkly, “It’s always complications.”
“Are you two coming?” asked Magda.
“Coming.” I needed to walk with her anyway, in order to tell her my theory about Draco Malfoy. However, I saw that Amy was looking at me in alarm and I said glumly, “Let’s move.”
Amy hid by my side as we walked out.
We almost made it, but then Drew called out, “There you are!”
Sighing, Amy said, “Yes, here I am.” She then gave him a look that pretty much said, “Get on with it.”
“Oh, Amy, I didn’t see you there,” he said brightly, then turning to me. “Anyway, I managed, through my own skill and determination, to find you. Though I still don’t have a name...”
“You’re here for Anne?” asked Amy in disbelief.
“Anne, is it? OK, it was only Anne or Magda anyway. But you looked like an Anne.”
“It’s short for Marianne,” she added nonchalantly, though I couldn’t see why anyone needed to know that.
“Really? Didn’t think of you as someone with that kind of name.”
“That’s why I shortened it,” I explained, trying to ask Amy what was with her through eye contact.
Laughing, Drew then said, “Fair enough. Anyway, I was hoping I would get a chance to talk to you again.”
“Sorry,” I said quickly, “I can’t since -”
“Since she has a boyfriend,” said Amy coldly. Drew looked mildly amused by Amy’s attitude, which is more than I could say for her. What was her problem? I looked at Amy, again questioning her with my eyebrows, and said, “Yes, partly that.”
“I wasn’t asking for a date,” said Drew hastily. “I just wanted a walk.”
“Well, I can’t right now. I promised I would talk to Magda - in private.” Thank Merlin that Magda was actually near by, loyally waiting for me. You see, she was someone I could count on - minus the fact that she lied to Oliver so that he wouldn’t go to the Yule Ball with me. But Oliver is a prick and we don’t like him, so that’s OK. A lying prick who I only just saw a couple of day ago... FOCUS!
“Besides,” I added, “I have to get to Divination.”
“But, of course.” He slowly walked away, calling out, “Bye then.” When he was out of sight, I hissed, “What was that?”
“What do you mean? Didn’t you want him knowing that you have a boyfriend?”
“Yes, but you didn’t have to tell him for me. It’s as if I asked you to represent me, or something. He just wanted a walk.”
Rolling her eyes at me, she said, “Fine. But just as a warning, Drew probably won’t care that you have a boyfriend.”
“All he wanted was a walk,” I exclaimed. Why won’t she believe me? And the only reason I’m being awkward with him is that I don’t want George thinking what Amy’s thinking, even though there’s nothing to think.
Shit: George. Does he want to talk to me yet? Has he realised from someone else that Oliver Wood is the last person I wanted? Or had someone been stupid and told him about reading the article? But that’s impossible, the only people who knew I looked were me and Amy, so he actually had no reason what-so-ever to panic. Then again, how on Earth did he find out about me seeing him in the first place? Who knows... who bloody knows...
As Amy and I walked towards Magda, I looked around and asked, “Where’s Bella?”
Tutting, Magda replied, “She went after Seamus. He waited for you for a bit, but then he went off.”
“Oh really?” I looked at Amy, who in response bit her lip. That’s right, you go and look guilty about what’s going on.
“Of course, there’s nothing odd about that,” said Magda suspicious, adding, “is there?”
Oh, she knows! Amy’s busted! Well, can you say that she’s busted, when she actually hasn’t done anything? Nevertheless, everything had been discovered. I’m sure that Bella will get over it, eventually. Although, things were bound to be awkward between Amy and Bella for a bit until this whole thing blew over. Until then, it would just be me and Magda. We had been used to being alone together for a bit, while Bella and Amy were off with their respective love interests.
“No, there isn’t,” replied Amy quickly. “I mean, why would he wait for me?”
Magda looked taken aback for a moment. “He wasn’t. He was waiting for Anne.”
“Oh right.” Now I’m confused.
Snorting, Magda said, “That’s what we thought.”
But if it was true, why on Earth would Seamus say he was waiting for me? He didn’t think that they would suspect anything, so why didn’t he honestly say that he was waiting for Amy? Men are so confusing sometimes - wait! What did she mean by ‘That’s what we thought’? “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked abruptly, my legs starting to ache from the journey to Divination. I can’t wait until I can Apparate, though you’re not allowed to in Hogwarts, which is just stupid. I think that people who can Apparate should be able to if it gets them from class to class efficiently.
Magda eyed me and said, “I suppose you’ve just done it again, that’s all.”
WHAT? I grabbed hold of Magda’s arm and pulled her back towards me. Amy looked at me for a moment and I commanded, “Go ahead.”
Amy walked on and I demanded, “What exactly do you mean by ‘I’ve just done it again’?”
“Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? Somehow, you’ve managed to get Seamus’ attention. It’s Oliver all over again!”
“What? There is a huge difference. For instance, Seamus doesn’t want me!”
“Then why did he insist on taking you outside when you fainted?”
“Because Amy did!”
“And why was he waiting for you?”
“He was lying - he was waiting for Amy?”
“This is exactly like what happened with Oliver. We agreed that he was mine and he ended up wanting you!”
“Well that wasn’t my fault, was it? I really did try!”
“Oh, like you didn’t want him! I never had a fighting chance.”
“I started wanting him at the Yule Ball. After you lied to get him to ask you!”
“But we agreed that we were going to get together. And he already wanted you after you swooned because of your stupid head injury.”
Laughing bitterly, I retorted, “That stupid head injury was not my fault! I didn’t kick myself in the head. And one of you could’ve taken me to the Hospital Wing! It was just that he wasn’t too boy crazy to give a damn about me!”
“That is not the point! You took him when I wanted him!”
“Well, neither of us got him in the end, did we? You at least know where the fuck you stand!” I didn’t even realise I had screamed it until afterward, when all I could hear was my echo. Everything was still silent, and I could feel tears welling up. I turned my back of her for a moment, thinking that I would completely break down if I did. Then I continued:
“I never got my chance, either. I took him up on his offer, and he didn’t want me. He wanted to fly around on a broom. And now look at me! I’m a mess because of him. And this isn’t anything like it, because Seamus doesn’t want me, he wants Amy, but you didn’t listen did you?”
“The evidence -”
“Fuck the evidence!” I span back with fury, Magda having to take steps back. “You should have confronted me. All you went on was two incidents. And all that might have proved was that Seamus wanted me. There was nothing to show that this was my fault - that I lured him. But of course, that’s just the kind of girl I am, aren’t I?”
“No,” said Magda, her voice loosing all the venom it previously had. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
“You did. You are still hurt that Oliver wanted me. I’m still hurt that Oliver wanted me. Without him, I would be happy. I wouldn’t be wondering about why he’s still after me, or what on Earth he put in that stupid letter. I am not the least bit interested in Seamus! I would quite like George, but for some reason he’s avoiding me. But no, not Seamus, and I resent how you and Bella assumed that I did.”
“Anne, you can’t blame me for feeling stung -”
“But I forgave you for what you did! And I was really pissed off. I forgave you. And I would have more reason to be angry - after all I did for you.”
That stopped her in her tracks. “What does that mean?”
“Well, I was the first to accept you. I defended you when Lavender first tried to go for the kill. And I did try and help you get Oliver at first. All I did was discover my feelings, but I was willing to put them aside. And now here I am – HEARTBROKEN, SICK AND TIERD – and you go and accuse me of this.”
Magda didn’t say anything for a moment. When the silent had clearly become as unbearable as it was for me, she murmured, “So it’s Amy.”
“It’s Amy,” I repeated strongly. “And nothing to do with Oliver.”
“Anne, I –”
“Don’t bother.” I stormed off, considering how to fix Bella. “Just don’t fucking bother.”
I tried my best to talk to Bella throughout Divination, but Trelawney was acting like too much of a psycho for me to talk in her class. She practically decapitated us all with her Oracle books. I always knew that she was about to have a breakdown someday; it was only a matter of time.
Amy was pleading for my forgiveness for the entire lesson after I told her what had happened. Frankly, I’m only slightly sympathetic after what had happened. After all, it just went to show that it’s not all forgive and forget. I mean, Magda still hadn’t completely forgiven me for something that happened a year ago. And what was odd was that, looking back, I’m not sure if I completely forgave her. After all, who would lie like that, just in order to get a date?
Now, let’s not act like this. Come on, happy place... This situation is not helping my disposition – or my language, for that matter, at all.
Once the lesson was over, I tried to walk over to Bella, but she quickly left the classroom, leaving me and the others behind. Watching her rush away from me, I sarcastically said, “So she’s not too happy about this?”
“I tried to tell her it was me,” lied Amy - come on, she obviously lied, “but she just wasn’t listening.”
“Well, we’re going to have to tell her at some point. Seamus fancies you, simple enough. It’s not like you’re going to do anything about it.”
”Of course. But she doesn’t know that.”
“Well she needs to know something.”
“We’ll get through to her,” chimed in Magda. I didn’t respond to her – I was still hurt. In response, I pulled onto Amy’s arm and began walking on.
“Anne, I really don’t think –”
“Can everyone please stop trying to justify her actions? What has Magda done for us, honestly? We don’t need her.”
“You don’t mean that. You’re just upset because of Oliver.”
I stopped. You know what? She was right. That’s exactly why I was upset. It all just cleared my head and made things so much clearer to me. In that moment, my mind had been made up and I was overcome by this surge of determination.
“I’m going to the owlry.”
“Yes,” I said, as I started to walk away.
“For what?” Calm down, Amy, I’m not going to report you. When I didn’t answer, they felt it fit to follow me. So looks like Bella was going to have to wait.
“For what?” repeated Amy.
This was good. I could feel every nerve on fire. It was one of the clearest ideas I’ve had in a while. For once, I had a mission. I wasn’t just going to go along with everything now. It was time to stop pretending to move on, and take a few steps back.
“I’m ordering a package.”
“Yes. Once this is sent. I’ll be expecting a delivery that was almost turned to cinders, and is the size of about three Witch Weeklys."
A/N: Oh yes, get in there! We all know this means? If not, then re-read a couple chapters back, then you will! I’ll update as soon as, so don’t worry. Unless you don’t care in which case… I wish you would.
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